American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount McKinley, Second Ascent of Western Rim of South Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 1970

Mount McKinley, Second Ascent of Western Rim of South Face. Seiwa Asanome and Kazuo Yanamoto made this climb in only three days. From the foot of the great couloir, the two climbers began their climb by rush tactics on June 26. The couloir rises for 2000 feet to the crest of the western rim at an average of 50°. After twenty pitches of ice and snow, which made their ankles very painful, they camped at 14,750 feet. On the 27th they climbed the rim on rock and snow to camp at 17,000 feet. From there they could escape to the West-Buttress route, if necessary. From 14,750 feet they felt the effect of the altitude and had headaches, difficult breathing and sluggish movement. It took one hour to set up their tent. On June 28 they left unnecessary equipment in the tent and started for the summit. Half the route was along the rock ridge, until they reached the foot of the snow wall. Conquering severe headaches and fatigue with willpower, they climbed the 2500-foot wall. They felt their toes were getting frostbitten gradually. At 19,350 feet on the main ridge, they were exhausted and felt the 1000 feet to the summit very far away. Step by step they trudged up the vast, wide snowfield. They had to rest for three hours before climbing the last 600 feet. They forced their bodies with last energy, nausea and extreme fatigue at 6:45 onto the summit of North America’s highest peak. (First ascent by Buckingham, Breitenbach, Corbet, Sinclair, June 19, 1959. See A.A.J., 1960,12:1, pp 1-9.)

ICHIRO Yoshizawa, Japanese Alpine Club and A.A.C.

Note: All dates in this section refer to 1969 unless otherwise noted.

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