Alaska's former governor and VP candidate sparks Twitter flame war over trumped-up adventure on Denali
See that Tweet above? That's Republican Party sweetheart Sarah Palin letting the world know about her plans to climb the Sweettooth, a spur of Denali, with her husband Todd and 16-year-old daughter Willow. The ambitious adventure is part of her planned Discovery Channel series, Sarah Palin's Alaska. Impressive, no?
There's only one problem: "Sweettooth" doesn't exist on Denali. She might mean "Sugartooth," but even then, climbers who know the area are scratching their heads. "Sugartooth" is a multi-day, highly technical climb on sheer rock; despite Palin's ability to scale the ranks of Republican leadership, it's unlikely she's got the skills to send a "5.10b/c with short sections of A2, 16 pitches," according to Alpinist.com.
The Alaskan outdoor blogosphere is understandably taking Palin to task for 1) claiming to be an Alaskan mountain woman without even knowing the names of the places she's going, and 2) exploiting their state in a selfish bid for spotlight. Some speculate she'll fly in to the Ruth Glacier, take photos and go home. "Sweettooth = name of ridge you got wrong while trying to sound like a mountain woman," went one criticism.
But who are we to judge? Check out the following footage from ace climbers Zack Smith and Renan Ozturk, who won a McNeill-Nott Award for the third ascent for the "Sugar Tooth" (scroll to 2:32):