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North America, United States, Washington-Cascades, Mount Rainer, North Ridge Routes

Mount Rainier, North Ridge Routes. By completing the second ascent of the original Ptarmigan Ridge route this summer, Gene Prater, of Ellensburg, has become the only climber to ascend all of the routes bordering and splitting Willis Wall. He reports that Ptarmigan is the most difficult, followed by Liberty and Curtis in that order. Beckey’s ascent of the ridge in 1957 varies so greatly from the Bauer route on Ptarmigan in 1935 that it has come to be accepted as a completely different route. The wall has yet to be attempted, since it is subject to unpredictable ice avalanches from the glaciated summit ice-cap, and rises some 4000 feet from the upper Mowich Glacier cirque.