Mountain Athlete

Samuel is a prolific alpinist and mountain athlete based in rural Alaska. He has completed, and continues to pursue, a variety of progressive first ascents and descents in minor and major mountain ranges from Alaska to the far reaches of the Karakoram and the Tian Shan since beginning to chase firsts in the mountains back in the early 2000s. 

As a result of his activities in the mountains he has received alpine climbing awards, been featured in publications and speaking engagements, and appeared in climbing films and podcasts.

 

He is currently very active as a developer of mountain sports opportunities on the eastern Kenai peninsula inclusive of bouldering, downhill biking, ski mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, and more.

Career Highlights

First Ascent - Severance Ridge, southwest buttress of Trango II (6327m, Karakoram, Pakistan (VI 5.11 (5.10+ R/X) A2 AI3 M5 (1700m). With Jeremy Frimer and Jonathan Clearwater (2005).

 

2 Attempts - Integral Northwest Ridge of Latok II (7108m, Karakoram, Pakistan). Difficulties to M6R. With Ryan Hokanson (2007). The line was completed in 2009 by Spanish climbers Alvaro Novellon and Oscar Perez. Perez died on the descent.

 

2 attempts - King Line on Kizil Asker (5842m, Western Kokshaal Too, China. Difficulties to WI5 M6. High point 5500m, second highest point reached on route until Ines Papert & Luka Lindic sent the first ascent of the line in 2016, calling it Lost in China. With Ryan Johnson (2012) & Benjamin Erdmann (2015).

 

Second Ascent - Diamond Arête, East face of Mt Hunter (4400m) and east-west traverse of the mountain (AK6 AI5 M6 (2000m). With Freddie Wilkinson (2005).

First Ascent - Flight of the Zephyr, Panfilovski Division Southeast (5200m, Kokshaal Too, China) (IV AI4R M7 (600m). Nominated for the Piolets D’Or (long list). With Benjamin Erdmann (2015).

 

First Ascent - Mr. Casual, NE face of the Ochre Walls (5100m, Western Kokshaal Too (IV AI5 R (600m). With Ryan Johnson (2012).

 

First Ascent - Alchemy Ridge, Mt. Balchen (Hayes Range (IV AI4 M7 (1100m). With Matt Klick (2009).

First Ascent - Northeast Buttress of Mt. Balchen (Hayes Range (IV AI4 M6 (1100m). With Ryan Hokanson (2010).

 

First Ascent - Pillar Arête, Caliban, in single push (Arrigetch Peaks, Brooks Range (V 5.10b (1100m). With Ryan Hokanson (2008).

 

First Ascent (Free Solo) - Morning Star variation to the Walter-Bauman Route, Southeast face of Mount Hayes (Hayes Range, Alaska (V AI3 M3 (2030m). Solo (2013). Listen to the Firn Line podcast about this if you like.

First Ascent - Last Bastion, Dogtooth (Neacola Mountains (V 5.10 A1 (14 pitches). With Aaron Thrasher and Ben Chriswell (2011).

 

First Ascent - Divine Providence, south face of Mt. Providence (Alaska Range (V WI4 M6 (1400m). With Jay Piggott (2004).

 

First Ascent - Direct West Face of Mount Hayes  (Hayes Range (V AI3 R (2000m). With Ryan Hokanson (2011).

 

First Ascent - Paikeas Journey, SE face of Thunder Mountain (Alaska Range (IV WI5 M5 (1200m). With Jay Piggott (2004).

 

Third Ascent - Northeast Buttress on West Maiden (Arrigetch Peaks, Brooks Range (V 5.9 R). With Ryan Hokanson (2008).

First Descent - First ski descent NW Face of Bashful Peak (Chugach Mountains). With Ryan Hokanson (2019).

 

First Ascent - Infinte Jester, Mendenhall Glacier (WI6 M6 (320m). With Ryan Sims (2020). Listen to the Firn Line podcast about this if you like.

First Ascent – Blood Moon, Kenai Mountains (WI4 M7 (245m) with Ian Colegrove (2018).

Second Ascent (Free Solo) - The Complete West Ridge of Mt. Yukla, Chugach Mountains (IV 5.8 (2050m). Solo (2009).

First Ascent - Varcolaci, Kenai Mountains (WI4 M6+R (245m) with Ryan Sims (2020).

First Ascent – Bathtime with Toaster, Mendenhall Glacier WI5 (350m). With Ryan Johnson & Tim Banfield (2012).

 

First Ascent - Path of the Fallen, Mendenhall Glacier (WI5 (315m). With Ryan Johnson (2018).

 

First Ascent – Rhinestone Wizard, Kenai Mountains (WI5 (350m). With Aaron Thrasher & Eliot Gaddy (2015). 

First Ascent - Devil's Doorbell, Kenai Mountains (WI5 (500m inclusive of snow bench). With Joe Nyholm (2020).

Peters Creek Trifecta - Three classic serious backcountry ski lines, on three peaks, in three days. Day 1: Mt Bellicose, The Shroud (integrale). Day 2: Mt Benign, Malignant Couloir. Day 3: Mt Rumble, NW Couloir (integrale). Chugach Mountains, AK. With Ryan Hokanson (2020).

MINOR HIGHLIGHTS

ALASKA - Various multipitch ice to WI6, various Pika Glacier, Foraker attempt, multiple Denali ascents, free solos to 5.10 & WI5, boulder/crag first ascents, multipitch trad basalt routes in Resurrection bay, first ski descents, first bike descents, etc.

LOWER 48 - Birdbrain Boulevard, various ice, Various 14ers, various RMNP, Yosemite, JTree, Red Rocks, Black Canyon, Utah, Washington, etc.

CANADA - Nemesis (WI6), Weeping Pillar (WI6), Happy Days (WI6+), Pilsner Pillar (WI6), Whiteman Falls (WI6), Curtain Call (WI6), Rainbow Serpent (WI6), Aerial Boundaries (WI5+), free solo Sullivan Falls (WI5), free solo A Bridge too Far (WI4+), free solo Professor Falls (WI4), free solo Anorexia Nervosa (WI4R), Greenwood-Jones on Mt Temple (V 5.10), Super Brewers (IV 5.9), South Buttress of Camel (D+ 5.9), etc.

FRANCE - Shiva Lingam Rare Right-Hand Pillar (ED WI6+ X), Icelander (ED WI6), Frenesie (ED WI6), Nuit Blanche (ED WI6), etc.

ITALY - 2nd ascent of Hard Ice Direct Rare Pillar (WI6), Di Fronte del Traddimento Direct (WI6), Repentance Super (WI6), free solo Cold Couloir (WI4+), etc.

NEW ZEALAND/AUSTRALIA - Castle Hill, Payne's Ford, Syme Ridge on Mt. Tasman, New variation on Mt. Dixon, attempt on what later became 24 hour Party People on Aspiring, etc.

Awards & Support

2020 - Summit Sealants Winter Adventure climbing grant 

2020- Xplore Alaska award for exploratory ice/mixed climbing and ski alpinism in Alaska2

2019 to present - Petzl Equipment grassroots athlete

2018 - American Alpine Club Cutting Edge Award 

2018 to present - Xplore Alaska team

2015 - Piolets d’Or Nomination, long list

2015 - Black Diamond Equipment, Sterling Ropes, Heather's Choice, Arc'teryx:  Kyrgystan and China expedition sponsorship

2013 - American Alpine Club Mugs Stump Award

2012 - Arc'Teryx, Black Diamond, & Sterling Ropes: Kyrgyzstan and China expedition sponsorship

2012 - American Alpine Club Copp-Dash Inspire Award 

2012 to Present - GU Energy grassroots athlete

2011 - Gore-Tex Shipton-Tilman Award

2011 - American Alpine Club McNeill-Nott Award

2010 - American Alpine Club Copp-Dash Inspire Award 

2009 - American Alpine Club Mugs Stump Award

2008 to 2013 - Black Diamond Equipment grassroots athlete

2007 - Mountain Equipment Co-Op expedition sponsorship

2007 - Cascade Designs Latok expedition sponsorship

2007 - American Alpine Club Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award 

2005 - Cascade Designs & Earth Sea Sky Trango Towers expedition sponsorship

2005 - American Alpine Club Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Award

2005 - New Zealand Alpine Club expedition sponsorship

2005 - British Mountaineering Council Mount Everest Foundation expedition sponsorship

Gallery

©2020 by Samuel H. Johnson