SOTA Abort SC Alaska

Thought I would share a couple of photos of a recent SOTA attempt in South Central AK. This is also my first post so hopefully everything attaches nice and smooth!

I attempted a first activation of Vista Peak KLA/AN-122 in the Chugach State Park. Weather was awesome, hike was somewhat brutal, but a good day overall. This last winter really dumped snow on us, and it definitely still looks like winter once you get past the Chugach front range. I am not sure exactly how far the hike was as my GPS died on me, but I used most of the 20 hours of sunlight that we are currently getting.

I stayed high on the ridges to steer clear of excessive avalanche danger and did a good job of not putting myself at any major risk. Once I finally caught view of the peak, I started to doubt the possibility of a safe final ascent but needed to get a better look to feel good about turning back. I eventually made it to the bottom of the final summit push, donned crampons, and started kick stepping up the slope. My plan was to gain the rock pile/face and use that to scramble up to the summit, which would keep me off of the steep snow loaded face that had been beaten down by the sun all day.

I did gain the rock face but was halted shortly after. The exposure was just too gnarly to risk becoming cliffed out. So, I found a place to sit, pulled out my HT and hoped for the best. I did get 4 qso’s, but I suspected that I probably didn’t quite make the AZ. Sure enough, after reviewing multiple maps…I ended up about 60 feet below the AZ.

I worked my way back down the ridge, and at one point in time looked over my shoulder to get a good last look of vista peak…and I caught the tail end of a minor avalanche blowing down the mountain that I had just aborted from…a split second later I heard the boom from the slide.

I didn’t get any SOTA points…just a cool story and some pictures to share. I’ll be back up there in a month or so!



What a great report. Not to mention great vigilance and decision-making!

Thank you for sharing.

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What a marvelous view!

Well done on the decision and hope the conditions are kinder next trip.


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