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North America, Canada, Selkirks, Mount McDonald, North Face

Mount McDonald, North Face. On July 26 Jerry Fuller and I made what appears to be the first ascent of the sheer, impressive north face, above Rogers Pass. On the previous afternoon we fought slide alder and then climbed grass slopes so steep we considered roping until we reached a little ledge with enough scrub wood for a fire. We climbed a route directly above the central spur ridge, generally on good quartzite. The route was fourth class except for three fifth-class pitches, one of which would have been direct aid if the holds had not been so sharp; the quartzite was studded wth a series of minor overhangs and it was always possible to climb through or around them. One short ice traverse, followed by a pitch of slightly overhanging rock, was the crux of the climb. Exposure was magnificent on the final pitches to the summit ridge. We descended the western slopes, reaching Rogers Pass just before darkness and a torrential cloudburst.

Fred Beckey