Mount Hunter (Alaska)

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Mount Hunter
Begguya
Mount Hunter is located in Alaska
Mount Hunter
Mount Hunter
Location in Alaska
Elevation 14,573 ft (4,442 m)
Prominence 4,633 ft (1,412 m)
Location
Location Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, U.S.
Range Alaska Range
Coordinates 62°57′03″N 151°05′22″W / 62.95083°N 151.08944°W / 62.95083; -151.08944Coordinates: 62°57′03″N 151°05′22″W / 62.95083°N 151.08944°W / 62.95083; -151.08944
Topo map USGS Talkeetna D-3
Climbing
First ascent 1954 by Fred Beckey, Heinrich Harrer, Henry Meybohm
Easiest route serious snow/ice/rock climb (Alaska Grade 4, 5.8, AI 3)
Mt. Hunter, nestled between Mt. Foraker and Mt. McKinley.

Mount Hunter, or Begguya, is a mountain in Denali National Park in Alaska. It is approximately eight miles (thirteen km) south of Mount McKinley, or Denali, the highest peak in North America. "Begguya" means child (of Denali) in the Dena'ina language. Mount Hunter is the third highest major peak in the Alaska Range.[1]

Mount Hunter has a complex structure: it is topped by a large, low-angled glacier plateau, connecting the North (Main) Summit and the South Summit (13,965 feet/4,257 m). Long, corniced ridges extend in various directions; between them are exceptionally steep faces.


Naming of the mountain[edit]

The native name for the mountain is Begguya, meaning "Denali's Child." Early prospectors referred to the mountain as Mount Roosevelt. In 1903, Robert Dunn, a reporter for the "New York Commercial Advertiser," visited the area as part of Frederick Cook's attempt to climb Mount McKinley. He bestowed the name of his aunt Anna Falconnet Hunter (1885–1941), who financed his trip, on a high nearby mountain, prominent from the northwest. This was, in fact, a different peak, now known as Kahiltna Dome. Unfortunately, the name Hunter was mistakenly applied to the present-day Mount Hunter by a government surveyor in 1906.[2]

In October 2010, the South Summit was named Mount Stevens, after Ted Stevens (1923–2010), Alaska's former senator (1968–2009), who had died in a plane crash in August.[1]

Climbing history[edit]

Despite being much lower in elevation than Mount McKinley, Mount Hunter is a more difficult climb, due to its steep faces and corniced ridges; it also sees far less traffic than its larger neighbor.

Fred Beckey, Heinrich Harrer and Henry Meybohm completed the first ascent in 1954, via the long West Ridge; this was a great accomplishment for the time, and used techniques such as extensive front-pointing which were unusual in the climbing world.

Beginning in 1977, with Michael Kennedy and George Lowe's climb of a route on the northwest face of Mount Hunter, this steep rock and ice face has been the scene of many landmark hard climbs.

Notable ascents[edit]

  • 1954 West Ridge - FA of peak by Fred Beckey, Heinrich Harrer and Henry Meybohm[2]
  • 1979 South Spur by John Mallon Waterman (solo, 145 days), described as a "visionary climber" by Jon Krakauer in a 1993 Outside magazine article about Christopher McCandless, in which Krakauer compares the two adventurers.[3]
  • 1981 Moonflower Buttress (Alaska Grade 6: 5.8 A3 AI6 6100') FA to last rock band by Mugs Stump and Paul Aubry (NZ).[4]
  • 1983 Moonflower Buttress to summit, first complete ascent by Todd Bibler and Doug Klewin.[4]
  • 1989 Northwest Face FA by Conrad Anker and Seth 'S.T.' Shaw, summit attained July 3, 1989.[5]
  • 1994 Deprivation, (Alaska Grade 6, Alpine ED+, 90deg ice) FA by Scott Backes and Mark Francis Twight.[6]
  • 1994 Wall of Shadows, (Alaska Grade 6, AI6+ 5.9 A4) FA by Greg Child and Michael Kennedy.[7]
Looking down the SW Ridge at about 10,500'.
Mt. Hunter from NW (Kahilta Base Camp)

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Hello, Mount Stevens!". Alaska Dispatch. October 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  2. ^ Selters, Andy (2004). Ways to the Sky. Golden, CO, USA: The American Alpine Club Press. p. 170. ISBN 0-930410-83-1. 
  3. ^ Krakauer, Jon (January 1993). Death of an Innocent: How Christopher McCandless lost his way in the wilds. Outside. 
  4. ^ a b Westman, Mark (May 25, 2007). "Hunter: Grand repeat and epic near-ascent". Alpinist Newswire. Alpinist Magazine. Retrieved July 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ Anker, Conrad (1990). "Hunter's Northwest Face". American Alpine Journal (NYC, NY, USA: American Alpine Club) 42 (64): 36–38. ISBN 0-930410-43-2. 
  6. ^ Twight, Mark Francis (1995). ""Deprivation" on Mount Hunter". American Alpine Journal (Golden, CO, USA: American Alpine Club) 37 (69): 11–14. ISBN 0-930410-61-0. 
  7. ^ Kennedy, Michael (1995). "Shadows of Doubt, Mount Hunter". American Alpine Journal (Golden, CO, USA: American Alpine Club) 37 (69): 1–10. ISBN 0-930410-61-0. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ This is excluding the North Peak and other subsummits of Mount McKinley.
  2. ^ Jonathan Waterman, High Alaska, AAC Press, 1988.

External links[edit]