Alaska Range Project by Carl Battreall
Alaskan photographer Carl Battreall introduces his Alaska Range Project, a major photographic project to explore and photograph the entire Alaska Range in North America from the Nutzotin Mountains to the Neacolas via Denali - Mount McKinley.
Stretching 650 miles across South -Central Alaska, the Alaska Range is formidable wall of rock and ice that separates the central coast from the interior. It is a legendary range and home to North America's highest and most famous mountain, Denali (Mount McKinley). In the shadow of Denali lies many secrets and for the adventurous alpinist. The Alaska Range offers rewards and challenges that few other mountain ranges can match. The Alaska Range can be roughly split into three sections.
1. Central Alaska Range
The heart of the Alaska Range is Denali National Park and Preserve. Home of Denali and many other famous mountains including Mount Foraker, Mount Hunter and the Moose's Tooth, the central Alaska Range sees the majority of all Alaska Range climbing activity. But the central Alaska Range still has plenty of pockets of secluded and rarely touched mountains.
Denali, Mount Mckinley (20,237ft), is the Alaska Range's most famous mountain and is the climbing objective for the majority of expeditions into the Alaska Range.
The Ramparts. A cluster of granite spires west of the lower Kahiltna Glacier. A secret backcountry ski playground for local guides and rangers, the Ramparts see very few visitors and the majority of the peaks remain unclimbed.
Southwest of Mount Foraker is a sea of endless mountains and ridges. There is a ton of potential for big alpine routes on numerous rarely climbed and unclimbed peaks. In 2007 and 2008, American alpinist Fred Wilkinson and companions made some significant first ascents in the Yetna Glacier area including The Fin Wall (13,300ft) and Bat Ear (11,044ft), but the area has remained quiet ever since.
Mount Russell (11,670ft)is an isolated peak on the western edge of Denali National Park and Preserve. Arguably one of the most beautiful mountains in the Alaska Range, it sees very few climbers.
There are plenty of ways to escape the crowds in Denali National Park and Preserve, from the big walls of the Kichatna Mountains to the icy faces of the Eldridge Glacier, the only limit is your imagination.
2. Eastern Alaska Range
The eastern Alaska Range stretches from the north border of Denali National Park and Preserve all the way east, to the Canadian border, where the Alaska Range tucks behind the mighty Wrangell Mountains. The two dominate cluster of mountains are the Hayes Range and the Delta Mountains. Home to some legendary peaks, including Mount Deborah, the eastern Alaska Range offers steep, committed climbing in a remote wilderness setting.
The 7000ft North face of Mount Deborah, the Nordwand of Alaska. No one will be watching you from a lodge at the base as you try to climb this cold, icy face that is 1,200ft higher than the Eiger's famous north face.
The amazing Mount Hess (11,486ft), a lonely giant that is rarely seen, let alone climbed.
The unclimbed south face of Moby Dick, Peak 12,360ft. This beast of a mountain is one of many mountains that is ignored by most alpinists.
The rarely climbed Mount Thoreau is just one of hundreds of beautiful peaks that make up the Delta Mountains. The Delta Mountains are the most accessible mountains in the Alaska Range and offer a variety of fun, challenging peaks.
The Southern Alaska Range
South of Denali National Park and Preserve are some of the most isolated and difficult to access mountains in all of Alaska. The south-west end of the Alaska Range is where serious adventure takes place. If you are looking for exploratory climbing, the southern Alaska Range is where to go. The primary mountains of the southern Alaska Range are the Revelation Mountains and the Neacola Mountains. Both offer steep climbing on decent granite and thin ice. The Revelation Mountains have surged into climbing stardom, primarily because of the recent exploits of Alaskan alpinist Clint Helander. In the past few years, Clint has put up a series of hard routes on unclimbed peaks, highlighting the untapped potential of the Revelations. Even with all the new publicity, the Revelations see an average of three climbing expeditions a year!
The Angel, Revelation mountains. The west face of this gorgeous peak has not been climbed or skied and the wicked just begs for couloir an ascent and ski descent. Clint and his partner descended this couloir in the dark after their second ascent of the peak.
The Revelation's Babel Tower is still waiting for its first ascent.
The Neacola's Citidel rivals Mount Russell as one of the most beautiful mountains in the range. It has seen less than a handful of ascents and all from one route. Only the hardest, most technical climbers will have a chance at glory on this beautiful peak.
For those alpinist not looking for fame and glory, but instead, are looking for a wilderness experience in an isolated mountain landscape, the southern Alaska Range has few rivals.
About the author
Carl Battreall in a Alaskan photographer who focuses on glacier and mountain photography and the exploration and conservation of remote, unprotected wilderness areas. His work and has been exhibited and published throughout the world included his 2011 solo book, Chugach State Park: Alaska's Backyard Wilderness. Carl has explored and photographed over 200 hundred glaciers in Alaska. Carl's wilderness skills combined with his traditional photography background have made him one of the most unique and influential photographers working in Alaska today.
The Alaska Range Project is a major photographic project to explore and photograph the entire Alaska Range, from the Nutzotin Mountains to the Neacolas. Stretching 650 miles across south-central Alaska, the Alaska Range is one of the great mountains ranges of North America.
There has never been a photography book of the Alaska Range and many of the areas have never been photographed. The Alaska Range book is scheduled to be released in Spring 2016 and is being published by The Mountaineers Books.
To learn more about the Alaska Range project visit: www.thealaskarange.com