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North America, United States, Alaska, Attempt on Mount Blackburn, Ascent of Atna Peak

Attempt on Mount Blackburn. Ascent of Atna Peak. The Toyo University Expedition from Tokyo was led by Hiroichi Yamazaki and further composed of Hiromichi Tanabe, Katsumasa Aoki, Takehisa Shiono, Osamu Iwatake, Kiyoshige Seiryu and Kyoji Matsunaga. After flying from Gulkana to Base Camp on the Nabesna Glacier at 7200 feet on May 4, they established Camps I (10,825 feet) on May 8 and Camp II (12,741 feet) on May 24. On May 27 and 28 the first attempt on the northeast ridge of Blackburn failed. The second attempt on June 2 to 6 also failed. The ridge between Blackburn and Rime Peak (13,680 feet), which is on the northeast ridge, is as sharp as the edge of a knife. They were forced to retreat 2000 feet below the top because of continuous storms. On June 8 Shiono and Seiryu stood on the top of the higher western peak of Atna (13,860 feet; climbed by Keith Hart’s party in 1955 and Vin Hoeman’s in 1965). Aoki and Matsunaga climbed it the next day. An accident occurred while they were descending. Matsunaga slipped less than 100 feet from the summit and dragged Aoki off, who was 35 feet lower. The roped climbers slid about 1500 feet and then fell some 150 feet directly and finally stopped on the snow slope. At dawn on June 10 Aoki breathed his last

Ichiro Yoshizawa, Japanese Alpine Club