Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Honnold and Ozturk Abandon Attempt on Mt. Dickey in Alaska

Back in April I wrote about an upcoming expedition that would send Alex Honnold and Renan Ozturk to one of the toughest free climbs in North America. The duo were planning to head to Alaska, where they would attempt a tough route called the Wine Bottle on the East Face of the 2909 meter (9545 ft) Mt. Dickey. The route has only been climbed once before, and it promised to be an incredibly technical and demanding ascent, even for a guy who just free soloed El Capitan.

Fast forward a couple of months, and Alex and Renan – along with renowned alpinist Freddie Wilkinson, are in Alaska, but they have abandoned their attempt on the Wine Bottle route. The trio made camp on the mountain last week and waited for several days for the East Face to dry out before beginning their ascent. But, the weather has been unpredictable this spring and summer, with lots of precipitation over the past few weeks. As a result, the team has pulled the plug on what would have been an interesting project to follow for sure. Apparently they did make one attempt, but it was more of an exploratory climb rather than a full-on assault on the wall.

But all is not lost. According to Men's Journal, the team is now looking at other potential projects in the area and hope to do some other interesting climbs while they're in Alaska. Hopefully we'll hear more about their plans in the days ahead.

After all of the media coverage and hype surrounding Honnold's big climb from earlier in the month, many people wondered what he would do next. Apparently the answer was fly to Alaska and take on some big walls there. The Mt. Dickey climb would have been the perfect follow-up to such an iconic moment for the sport of climbing, but for now it will have to wait. I'm sure these three very talented climbers will come up something equally intriguing soon.

Watch Men's Journal's Adventure section for more updates.

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