Clint Helander’s Epic Alaskan Images
Alaskan Dark Horse’s Epic Images
Clint Helander moved to Anchorage, Alaska, when he was 18 years old and quickly discovered his passion for the big mountains. Photography always interested him, but it wasn’t until he began climbing, skiing and hiking that he honed his passion for adventure photography. Climbing has taken him to three continents, and he’s made numerous first ascents in Alaska and beyond.
His notable trips include 10 visits to Alaska’s Revelation Mountains. In November 2017, he attempted his first Himalayan peak, Panbari (6,905 m). “Climbing halfway up a 2,750-metre unclimbed face before turning around due to rockfall,” he told Chris van Leuven in a 2018 interview.
In April 2018, Helander and Jess Roskelley established one of the longest new alpine routes in the U.S., the South Ridge of Mount Huntington in the Alaska Range. The massive route goes at Alaska grade VI with a difficulty of M6 A0 95° snow with severe objective danger as it crosses through hanging seracs and big cornices. Helander said that it’s “the most committing thing I’ve done in Alaska.” One of the most committing parts of the climbs included rapping into the gunsight notch from the first peak. “We looked each other deep in the eyes and pulled the rope,” said Helander. “We knew the only way off was by summiting Huntington 6,000 feet away, as going down would be too dangerous and reversing the route was out of the question.”
Over the past few years, Helander has taken hundreds of frame-worthy photos from Alaska, Yosemite and many other famous and non-famous climbing areas. These are a selection that he’s chosen to share. Be inspired and be sure to find more of Helander’s work online.—Gripped
Below Jess Roskelley heading up Nemesis WI6 in the Canadian Rockies
Left Andres Marin on a splitter Yosemite crack
Left It was inspiring to watch Jordan Cannon work on the 5.13 “A5 Traverse” high on El Cap’s Golden Gate. I was really inspired by his tenacity, climbing skills and especially his flexibility. The ancient pitons, not so much.
Right The legends of Saint Elias storms are all true. Due to over 13 feet of snowfall, Jess Roskelley and I never got to see David Lama climb. During our 23 days on the glacier, we only left basecamp twice, for a total of 36 hours. We were, however, very impressed with his shoveling skills. He’s good. Maybe one of the world’s best.
Below Leon Hiro Davis with Manaslu, the world’s eighth tallest mountain, rising behind
Above Jess Roskelley on an endless up-and-down traverse to the second tower during the first ascent of Mount Huntington’s south ridge, which we called Gauntlet Ridge VI M6 A0 95° snow
Below Jess Roskelley and I always reveled in the soothing effects of the sun after escaping the clutching grasp of cold shadows on Mount Huntington. Here, he rappels and traverses off the third tower on the fourth day of the climb.
Right Slovenian Peter Juvan on Tales of Power 5.12b in Yosemite
Above A sunset like no other on El Cap in Yosemite. It always pays to keep your eye to the sky around dusk. The hunt is always on.
Right Peter Juvan squeezing through a tight spot on Tales of Power 5.12b in Yosemite
Left Anna Pfaff pulling steep moves on another Yosemite splitter