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North America, United States, Alaska, Soviet Climbers on Mount McKinley

Soviet Climbers on Mount McKinley. On May 15 Reilly Moss and I arrived in Anchorage with Soviet mountaineers of the American Alpine Club exchange program, Eduard Myslovski, leader, Vladimir Shatayev, Sergei Efimov, Valia Ivanov, Oleg Borisenok and Alexei Lebedihin. We were finally flown to the Kahiltna Glacier on May 20. On May 21 we established Base Camp at 8500 feet on the northeast fork of the Kahiltna. On May 24 Shatayev, Efimov, Borisenok and Lebedihin began climbing Mount McKinley by the Western Rib route. The following morning Myslovski and Ivanov started up the Cassin route, while Moss and I started up the prominent ridge west of the Western Rib with Canadians Pat Morrow and Bernard Ehmann. (See their account below.) The Western Rib team reached Denali’s summit on the afternoon of May 28, having placed camps at 10,500, 12,000, 15,360 and 17,800 feet. They descended the West Buttress, returning to Base Camp on May 30. The pair on the Cassin route ran into slightly more difficulty. Myslovski and Ivanov placed camps at 10,500, 11,100, 12,000, 12,600, 13,950, 15,600 and 17,100 feet, reaching the summit on June 1. They descended the West Buttress to Base Camp on June 2. Moss and I were separated from the Canadians Morrow and Ehmann halfway up our route by bad weather. We completed the rib in six days and returned to Base Camp on May 31. After climbing Denali, Efimov and Borisenok climbed a very difficult ice route on the northwest ridge of P 10,450 on June 1 while Shatayev and Lebedihin climbed Mount Crosson. We all returned to Talkeetna on June 5.

Michael Helms