Polish Duo Targets Alaska’s Legendary Moose’s Tooth

One year after opening a remarkable winter route in Greenland, Marcin Tomaszewski and Pawel Haldas of Poland are back for a new cold-season adventure, this time in Alaska.

“Not much has changed since our last trip together to Greenland,” Tomaszewski wrote yesterday from Talkeetna. “We are still looking for the peaks of cold, preferably far from home.”

A mountain with vertical walls and deep couloirs on its east side, vaguely resemblimg a moose's tooth.

The big walls of Moose’s Tooth, as seen from Mt. Barrill. Photo: Wikipedia


The plan was to fly by small bush plane to the base of Moose’s Tooth (3,135m), one of Alaska’s most iconic peaks, in Denali National Park.

“We will be scratching its walls,” Tomaczewski said vaguely, without revealing any details.

It is not clear if they have a line in mind, although its mouth-watering 1,000m walls lie on the north and especially east sides.

One certainty: They will be on their own. “During calendar winter, climbers don’t visit this area often,” Tomazcewski noted. “It will be just us and the bears.”

Even that is highly unlikely since Alaska’s brown bears are hibernating at this time of year. And in summer, they roam the lower areas, where they can find something more reliable to eat than Polish climbers.

area map

The location of Moose’s Tooth. You can download the hi-res version here.


Brutally cold

It will be extremely cold, especially for climbing, which requires lighter equipment than, for instance, polar treks. The late David Lama, who climbed Bird of Prey on the east side of Moose’s Tooth in April 2013 with Dani Arnold, noted in the American Alpine Journal that even when the sun hit the face, it was brutally cold.

However, the Polish climbers excel at frigid big-wall climbs. Their new winter route in Greenland last year was a 17-pitch, 700m, M5, A3, C2, VI line they called Fram. It was the first big-wall winter route ever opened in Greenland. ExplorersWeb selected it as one of the top expeditions of 2023.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.