A honeymoon with a difference

Ines Papert and Luka Lindič on an expedition in Alaska

United States Initially the athletic couple had planned a road trip across the Americas for their honeymoon. But COVID-19 travel restrictions made this almost impossible. So, they followed the call of the wild and travelled to mountains of Alaska, where they exper­ienced absolute seclusion, pure wilderness, untouched land­scapes and once-in-a-lifetime climbing adventures. And best of all, was the “Heart of Stone”, a new route on the ascent of Mount Hunt­ington in Central Alaska.

Luca Lindic und Ines Papert

Luca Lindic und Ines Papert

Ines Papert and Luka Lindič are a moun­tain­eering couple in a class of their own. The got married in 2020 and planned a trip across the Americas for their honeymoon. Setting out from Alaska, they planned to travel down the West Coast of the USA with a camper. But due to the pandemic, they ended up spending their entire honeymoon in Alaska.

Heart of Stone

The couple stayed in Alaska for three months. Although inclement weather initially put a damper on things, they managed the spec­tacular ascent of Mount Hunt­ington – a first – in the Denali National Park during the second part of their trip.

After checking the walls along Ruth Glacier, a small aircraft dropped them at the foot of Mount Hunt­ington’s west face, where they set up their base camp.

  • Base camp: starting point of the first ascent.

    Base camp: starting point of the first ascent.

The next morning the couple climbed the Colton Leach route. With weather conditions in their favour, they made good progress on the rocks and ice, and reached the Mount Hunt­ington summit ridge without any problems. A successful recce tour.

The weather was perfect. Encouraged by the good forecast, Ines and Luka decided to try a new route. The steep rock face enticed them.

And on April 26, they were ready. They packed their equipment and began the ascent on an existing route. Then they ventured ahead on uncharted territory. They were in for a surprise: the crack system that seemed the most logical route was filled with ice. They hadn’t noticed this before because the ice contained mud residues and looked just like rock from a distance. The best way forward was in mixed climbing mode.

  • Climbing difficult terrain

    Climbing difficult terrain

The route was steep and almost every pitch had a boulder crux. Some of them were quite tough, but luckily there was generally adequate protection. At this point, water ran down the wall and the ice became difficult to navigate. The route was a challenge for the expert moun­taineers. Some sections were so difficult, it took a second attempt to get across. Snow and unex­pectedly treacherous terrain tested their endurance.

A breath-taking sight

At three in the morning, they reached a suitable bivouac site under a boulder. They were rewarded with a breath-taking sight that left them sleepless until the early hours of the morning.


““The full moon emerged. It was so beautiful that we lay awake for two hours admiring the night sky.””

Luka Lindic | LOWA PRO Team

  • A fascinating view

    A fascinating view

The next morning, they left their bivouac site with just one backpack and reached the summit of Mount Hunt­ington at 11 o’clock. Amazed at how warm it was, the two profes­sional athletes sat spellbound for almost an hour. Below them, the wild and fascinating mountains of Alaska stretched out as far as the eye could see.

The descent held no surprises and went smoothly. They reached their base camp in the afternoon. They then discovered that they had climbed an entirely new route. After the initial snow slopes, they climbed 20 pitches of new terrain before joining other routes on the snow flank of the summit. The feature that perfectly marks the start of this route inspired the name “Heart of Stone”.


The shoe

“We relied on ALPINE ICE GTX expedition boots on our climbing routes in Alaska.”

ALPINE ICE GTX: Climbers who are determined to reach the very top have to be able to rely on their technical gear. For Alpine moun­tain­eering boots in particular, there are a wide range of requirements, depending on the terrain and weather conditions. The ALPINE ICE GTX is a boot that was developed jointly by the LOWA PRO Team and active Alpinists. The completely crampon-compatible boot is designed for both icy and rocky passages, with GORE-TEX Duratherm lining and a cush­ioning element integrated into the shank.

The facts

2 days
1050m, M7, 50–90°