AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Peter Rittenhouse Kellogg, 1966-1992



Peter Rittenhouse Kellogg was killed on June 18, 1992 after completing the major difficulties of the Pink Panther route on Mount Foraker. He and two companions were struck by an avalanche, which they had no way to anticipate, and only one of them survived.

Ritt was bom in Summit, New Jersey and graduated from the Berkshire School in Massachusetts. His early love of outdoor adventure developed during sailing expeditions with his father and uncle and, later, from expeditions with Outward Bound. He began rock climbing at the Berkshire School, where he was also a talented skier and a member of their championship winning team for three years. His passion for mountaineering grew during his years at Colorado College, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in 1990.

His mountaineering career included difficult rock-and-ice climbs in Colorado and desert rock climbs, including Castelton Tower. Ritt made winter ascents of Pikes Peak and Crestone Needle. For two seasons he worked as a guide on Mount McKinley. During this time, he climbed the Lowe-Kennedy route on Mount Hunter. He joined the American Alpine Club in 1990.

Friends remember Ritt as a considerate and reliable person who always saw the positive side of situations and found humor in adversity. He was respected and liked by his friends and associates and was never critical of the people he met. He found joy in helping others, often when they did not expect it. In 1989, he was an organizer of the Climb for Cancer, which raised money for charity through a climbing expedition to Mount Elbrus.

Ritt shared the lessons of his adventurous life willingly with young people, serving as an instructor for Outward Bound for three years. At Outward Bound, Ritt was known for his quiet competence, ready smile and ability to get on with people of all ages. A memorial to Ritt was placed by his friends on top of the climbing cliff on Hurricane Island, Maine in a location that blends Ritt’s love of rock climbing, the ocean and helping others.

Ian Wade