In June, Stuart McAleese and I landed on the Shadows Glacier and made eyes at the east face of The Citadel. In typical unsettled Kichatna weather, we made progress up the face, with the first twelve pitches yielding climbing that was mostly overhanging–fantastic, but not desperately hard.
Our route was a direct start on the East Buttress Route (VI 5.9 A3, Black-Embick-Graber-Long, 1976). We climbed nineteen pitches and returned to base camp in a storm. We didn’t get to the summit but topped out on a nice high point on the buttress. We have great respect for climbers who have previously climbed with style and commitment in the area. It was a pleasure to be in such a fantastic area all on our own. For us the ascent was not “big news,” but we had a wonderful time.
The name of the route, Off the Wall Madness (VI 5.11a A2, 900m), is in reference to our state of mind as we waited for two weeks in foul weather for our pilot to pick us up.
–Mike “Twid” Turner, United Kingdom