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Antarctic, Lassiter Coast, Antarctic Peninsula

Lassiter Coast, Antarctic Peninsula. A six-man U.S. Geological Survey party (Steve Boyer, Karl Kellogg, Peter Rowley, Dick Waitt, a Russian exchange scientist E.N. Kamenev and I) spent three months of the 1972-3 austral summer conducting reconnaissance geologic mapping in the rugged mountains of the Lassiter Coast near the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition to the geologic work, first ascents of several prominent peaks were made. Mount Kane, the highest in the Playfair Mountains, was climbed by Kellogg and me on Thanksgiving Day. We ascended a mixed snow and rock rib in the center of the west face and descended the north ridge and northwest spur. The descent required several pitches of roped climbing on a knife-edged arete. Mount Barkow in the southwestern Dana Mountains was climbed from the north by Rowley on December 11. Two peaks in the Werner Mountains were climbed. Mount Fell was traversed from southwest to northeast by Kellogg and me on December 21 and three days later Kellogg traversed Mount High from west to east. I soloed the east ridge of the westernmost peak in the Ferguson Nunatak group on December 29 (NCCS II, F5) and on New Year’s Day climbed the north ridge of Mount Axworthy in the Dana Mountains.

Walter R. Vennum