When I was invited on a mission to spend two weeks climbing and skiing the Ruth Gorge in Denali National Park, I knew I’d have to bring some pretty serious equipment. Fortunately MSR was willing to help outfit the expedition. I’m exceedingly thankful for the gear, but that’s not all I picked up from the MSR HQ before my departure. I also ran into a long time friend, and while I was being told to “be safe” by nearly everyone who heard the plan, it was the words from my friend Diane which put me on the right track for the trip – “Listen to the mountains.”
Our plans included climbing lofty alpine walls in the Ruth Gorge, and climbing summits from their less-technical sides for some dizzying ski mountaineering descents. If you’ve never seen the Ruth Gorge, it is one of the world’s truly remarkable landscapes. The granite walls rise up 5000′ almost vertically from the glacier, giving the Ruth the feeling of an amplified version of Yosemite, with a floor of perpetually moving ice, and the tallest mountain on the North American continent as it’s source.
I was joined by Alaskan locals Tobey Carman and Cortney Kitchen, Jackson Hole native Patrick Wright, and my longtime skiing and climbing partner, Matt Henry from Washington. As the official photographer for the expedition, I’ll let the photos tell the story.
Thanks to MSR, K2 Skis, Clif Bar and Mammut for the support on this expedition. To keep track of my ongoing adventures, visit www.scottrinck.com, facebook.com/scottrinck, or @scottrinck on Instagram and Twitter.