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North America, United States, Alaska, Hunter, New Start of Lowe-Kennedy Route

Hunter, New Start of Lowe-Kennedy Route. In late May, Paul Teare and I made a second attempt at a new route on the north buttress of Hunter from the southeast fork of the Kahiltna Glacier. This second attempt also failed because of overly warm conditions, creating rotten snow over blank rock with no ice. After climbing 1500 feet, we became disgusted at slow progress due to poor snow, messy shallow cracks and avalanches shooting over our heads. We then turned to the beautiful Lowe-Kennedy route, which has seen few ascents. We had begun much further to the left of the original start and took a direct line to the distinct triangular face at ? height, following a snow-and-ice spur to that point. By the day’s end, we had completed the crux mushroom cornice traverse and bivied at its end below an ice cliff. The next day, we had hoped to summit, but a white-out forced us to bivouac on the summit plateau. When late the next day the storm broke briefly, we summited. We descended the west ridge on the fourth day, again in white-out.

Jay Smith