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North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Kennedy, North Ridge

Mount Kennedy, North Ridge. A four-man group, David Seidman, Philip Koch, Todd Thompson and Joseph Faint, were landed by plane at 8000 feet in late June on the north fork of the Lowell Glacier at the foot of the north ridge of Mount Kennedy (13,905 feet). They climbed, mostly on ice, ten leads up the slope just right of the foot of the ridge to gain the crest, where it took them six hours to chop a platform for Camp I. The granite on the bottom part of the climb tended to be rotten. During the ascent it was more or less frozen in place, but on the descent they were worried by possible rockfall. They continued on the ridge off to the right of the crest through the first icefield for 16 leads to Camp II, where all four had to chop for a full day to make a platform. The granite in this mixed ice and rock section was excellent. The crux of the climb was at the top of the icefield just above Camp II. After traversing right, they climbed four leads of mixed difficult ice and rock of F6 to F8 and A2 to A3. Some four more leads of moderate ice brought them to the end of this 14-pitch section and, Camp III. These first 41 pitches were all fixed with 8000 feet of rope. On July 23 Seidman and Thompson set out on reconnaissance but continued on all the way to the summit. Above Camp III the rock changed to rotten diorite. For five rope- lengths they were on loose, slabby, crackless rock, probably the most dangerous section of the whole climb because they could not protect themselves. To avoid the upper rock buttress they traversed right and completed the climb to the summit up some ten leads of snow. Except for the first two and the last pitches, there was such hard ice on all rope-lengths that they had to cut steps. They placed about 150 rock and ice pitons.