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North America, United States, Alaska, Fairweather, West Ridge, Winter Ascent

Fairweather, West Ridge, Winter Ascent. On March 16 Alaskans Dave Pahlke, George Ferry, Richard Burton, Bruce Hickok and I made the first winter ascent of Mount Fairweather via the west ridge. We landed at 3000 feet at the base of the west ridge on March 7 and put in four camps, the highest at 11,800 feet. An abundance of sunshine made Fairweather live up to its name. After reaching the summit, we descended the ridge and then spent two days thrashing through the brush and splashing down Sea Otter Creek to the beach, where we were picked up by Gulf Air of Yakutat on March 24. The hardest part of the climb was from the rock step at 9000 feet, across the col and up to 9500 feet. The step took us a day to fix. We made a 170-foot rappel and then had to traverse horizontally across thin ledges to the col. We put in about 650 feet of fixed line to protect this section.

Earl Redman