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“Pontoon Peak in the Chugach Mountains near Valdez, AK. Pete Lowney, Ryan Murray, and Tino Villanueva climbed this mountain in roughly 14 hours. Just under 4000′ the climb tops out around 7400′ with the glacier at 3500′ The climb took 2 1/2 days and included over 70 miles of snowmobiling to access the peak. Enroute to the top we encountered strong solar affected snow at lower elevations on the east face but soft powder snow above 4600′ as we turned the corner towards the pocket glacier. The climb included boot packing, skinning in the middle stretch, with the crux being the last 900+/- feet of wallowing booting up the north face to the summit ridge. Other than an exposed rocky step 200′ below the summit most climbing on the crux pitch was in thigh deep 55 – 60 degree snow. Not sure how this route would climb in a leaner snow year. The climbing route was up the left side of the north face snow field until rocky cliffs forced us to traverse out and step up to the lookers left summit ridge. Pete Lowney made this climb happen, without his strength, motivation, and direction we wouldn’t have made it up. No prior climbs of this mountain have been documented although many skiers/boarders have skied from the summit via helicopter.

The ski descent was high quality with generally perfect stable pow as was experienced all over the Chugach during this period. Strong winds late in the day did build small windslab on the cross loaded NW aspects of spines which we were able to avoid by staying on the right side of any spine feature. The descent line was down the lookers right summit to the most prominent spine on the lookers right of the summit in the photos.

Photo and video footage provided from personal footage taken by Pete Lowney, Tino Villanueva, and Ryan Murray. Most video footage is from Pete’s camera, with most photos from Ryan and Tino.”

– Cascade Powder Cats

Music Credits:

Falls – The Cave Singers
Sprawl II – Arcade Fire
Goodbye Cruel World – Pink Floyd
Long Time Comin – The Moondoggies

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