On Thin Ice: New 1,100m Revelation Route Offers Little Purchase

Matt Cornell and Jackson Marvell punched out a long, new route in Alaska’s Revelation Mountains in mid-April. They authored it with ice axes and crampons, but they didn’t find much to sink them into, from the looks of things.

Techno Terror (AI 6 M7+ A0, 1,100m) is the newest line in the range, and it’s barely there. Marginal smears of ice lead up broken corners to the top of Pyramid Peak. The footage would be frightening if Cornell and Marvell weren’t so calm on the dicey terrain.

As is, it’s a study of the adherent force between ice and alpine rock.

Jerome Sullivan, Lise Billon, Pedro Angel Galan Diaz, and Jeremy Stagnetto climbed one of the only known routes on Pyramid Peak in 2014. The Odyssey goes at 5.10 A1 M7.

Cornell and Marvell had eyeballed the line that would become Techno Terror for years but plans repeatedly refused to line up. Flush with a grant from the American Alpine Club, the pair made it happen this spring after noting Clint Helander and Andres Marin’s recent success on Golgotha.

“This year, it wasn’t quite on our radar. However, after seeing photos of conditions from [Helander and Marin], we changed our plans and flew into the Revelation Mountains,” Cornell wrote on Instagram. “Weather was perfect, and we were able to climb a new route.”

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents' evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.


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