The east face of Mt. Nevermore, showing (1) Call of the Raven (VI 5.9 A2+, 760m, Houston-Workman-Workman, 1998). (2)
Perfect Storm (VI 5.11d A1, 1000m, Lampard-McAleese-Turner, 2004). The east face of Mt. Nevermore can only be
seen in its entirety from the west face of Middle Triple Peak. Neither the 2004 nor the 1998 team knew there were two
distinct summits to the mountain. The climber in the foreground is Kitty Calhoun, on the first ascent of Ride the Lightning
(VI 5.10 A4 WI3, 4,000′, Calhoun-Gerberding-Osman-Smith, 1997) on the west face of Middle Triple Peak. [Photo] Jay Smith
After a four-day, snowy wait in April in Talkeetna, Paul Roderick of TAT flew Dai Lampard, Stuart McAleese and me onto the Tatina Glacier in the Kitchatna Spires. It
was the third trip Stuart and I had made to this
amazing granite area in consecutive years. As usual,
we came across nobody else the entire trip.
The four-day storm had totally plastered all the
faces with fresh snow; it also made crossing the col
from the Tatina Glacier to the Monolith Glacier
very dangerous. Once established between the vast
west face of Middle Triple Peak and the east face of
Mt. Nevermore, we started up on the far right of
the kilometer-long east face of Nevermore via a pillar
that led straight to the summit. We spent the
first couple of days fixing 200 meters, climbing
many of the pitches in waterfalls from the melting
snow. We then started capsule style up the face.
On Day 3, the weather worsened, becoming cold
and snowy. For five days we climbed in bad weather.
The climbing, which followed a continuous crack up
steep walls, was on excellent rock, though most of the
cracks needed to be cleaned of snow and ice. On Day
8, the weather improved and we made quick progress
up fantastic cracks, free climbing all the way. We
found a perfect cave, inside which we pitched our
small tent, enjoying our first comfortable bivy. The
following day we made the summit of Mt.
Nevermore by 2 p.m. in fine weather. Although
another route exists on this 1000-meter face, the team
did not continue to the summit, so we assume our
route, Perfect Storm (VI 5.11d A1, 1000m), was the
first ascent of the face. The summit of Middle Triple
Peak seemed only a stone’s throw away.
The weather deteriorated as we abseiled the wall.
Not wanting to be stuck in bad weather, we continued
through the night, arriving back in base camp
at 5 a.m., ten days after leaving. Later the same day
Paul Roderick picked us up and deposited us in the
Fairview Inn for an evening of festivities.
— Mike “Twid” Turner, Gwynedd, Wales, United Kingdom