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North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Hayes, West Ridge Attempt

Mount Hayes, West Ridge Attempt. On July 1 we began ferrying loads across the Big Delta River above the Black Rapids Glacier. Five days were spent in humping loads to Base Camp beneath Hayes’ southwest cirque. On July 8 we received an airdrop from pilot Cleo McMahan. Climbing left of the icefalls draining the cirque above, Tom Ruhkala and Dick McCarty fixed a route into the cirque. The next day John Garson and I returned to the cirque, crossed the bergschrund and began climbing the fluted headwall to the west ridge above, determining that the route would probably go. After four days of whiteout, the other three took advantage of increasingly fine weather and attempted a summit effort. In five hours they attained the ridge at 10,500 feet; the ridge to the summit was knife-edged, corniced and steep. The summit cap was an ice mushroom on the south and west. Lacking supplies and fixed rope, we terminated our venture.

David Stiller, Junior Birdmen