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Ascent of Polar Bear Peak in 1997-10

Climber: David Hart

Date:October, 1997
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Polar Bear Peak
    Location:USA-Alaska
    Elevation:6614 ft / 2015 m

Ascent Trip Report

Ascend southeast ridge, descend northwest face.
SE ridge of polar bear is one of the best routes in the park in my opinion. I've climbed it by both NW face and SE ridge. The october trip was SE ridge with richard baranow and cory hinds. We left friday after work and walked to echo bend then literally walked ip the river bed in running shoes all the way to just before the river crossing where dick griffith's old cabin is. We spent the night there, arriving at dark. We woke the next morning early and started up the long ridge over RG5 2040. It's easy grassy slopes all the way to PK 4122 and i think pretty easy until it steepens at 4200'. We ran into snow around 4000' I think. We roped up when it started to get steep and did running belays. I more plastic boots which was rather difficult in the snowy rocky conditions. And the route was pretty horizontal so you didnt always have a top rope, many times the rope went out horizontally. Rickard brought his dogs who were able to keep up until we roped up then we kept going and they walked all the way back home and were waiting for when we got back after midnight. We got on top right at dusk at 4 or 5 pm or whenever that is. We did the descent all in the dark, pre gps. Fortunately richard had been up there many times and he took care of everything. It was a long day, richard and cory did all the leading. I was just along for the ride. Amazing adventure, made more challenging due to snowy conditions, short days, and the fact you have to carry all your camping gear over the top and descend a technical route blind if you've never done the NW ridge. A seldom done Chugach classic. Oh, and really good rock, for chugach standards!
Summary Total Data
    Grade/Class:4th and low 5th clas
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Southeast ridge
Descent Statistics



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