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Mount Sanford - Northwest Face Closeup # 6385

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Date: 2003.08.09
Vantage Point: From banks of Copper River, 48 km to NW

Caption: The imposing walls of Mount Sanford's NW face and SW face (R) capped with 500' thick ice.

PhotoDescr: Just thought I'd put up this telephoto shot of Mount Sanford to try to show more detail and better portray its awesome relief.
 There are about five thousand vertical feet of volcanic rock and ice cliff visible (facing camera) and even more to the right on the SW face and yet more on the hidden S face! The outer rim of the ice that caps the mountain runs around it at about the 10,000 to 11,500' level. The valley floor is at 2,500' elevation.

The rock of which the mountain is composed is mostly andesite along with other volcanics, and was formed directly from molten lava flows that cooled quickly and slowly built up one upon the other over time. Andesite is the volcanic equivalent of plutonic diorite but is inferior to it as far as desirable qualities for climbing are concerned.

 Large glaciers that gouge out the high tundra carrying their load of avalanche debris are embedded deep in their troughs below and are hidden or out of photo. The trees that make up the boreal forests of the Copper River Valley in the foreground are predominantly Black (Bog) and White Spruce.
  The normal route, first ascended on skis by Brad Washburn and Terris Moore in 1938, prefers to ascend the gentle N slopes to the left. It is rated as Alaska Grade 1.

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