American alpinist Colin Haley has made another impressive ascent in Alaska. Climbing with Mikey Schaefer he linked the spires of the Witches Tits, Cat’s Ears Spires and the Devil’s Thumb in one mega traverse that took three days. Located on the British Columbia/Alaska border, in the Stikine Icecap region, the traverse was originally the idea of Dieter Klose and had been attempted before but never fully linked.
Departing from their base camp on August 13th the pair were graced with good weather for the duration of the route and climbed one of the three summits each day. It’s worth noting that the Witches Tits and the Cat’s Ears Spires are both double summits and so in the first two days there were four high points. There was also a great deal of abseiling which is inevitable on a traverse of this size – some of it described by Haley as ‘intimidating’. Climbed in excellent style, Haley and Schaefer were back at their base camp by 10.30pm on August 15th having completed their objective with the minimum of fuss. In a region notorious for epics bought on by difficult terrain and terrible weather this is a considerable achievement.
Haley writes on his blog “It was a fantastic climb, in a beautiful area. It was higher in quality than difficulty, and is certainly a traverse that I'd recommend to others. We're calling it the "Diablo Traverse," and the grade we climbed it at is I think 5.10, A2.”
To read the full report on the Diablo Traverse visit Colin Haley’s Blog
To read about Colin Haley’s new route on Mt Foraker that he climbed earlier this year visit the Climb Magazine news article Major New Route on Mt Foraker in Alaska.
Stephen Venables Interviews Colin Haley in the November 2010 edition of Climb Magazine.