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North America, United States, Alaska, Blackburn, West Summit

Blackburn, West Summit. In June, 1991, Peter Green and I tried to climb Blackburn via the west ridge, from the second arm of the Kuskalana Glacier. Crevasses and avalanches turned us back at 8000 feet. On June 7, 1993, Green, John Arnason, Dave Wheeler and I set out from the Nugget Creek cabin to climb Blackburn via a new route, the southeast spur. At the head of the third arm of the Kuskalana, we passed the icefall on the left to 7000 feet. At night, we tiptoed through a crevasse maze beneath creaking séracs to a safe camp at 9500 feet at the base of the southeast spur. There, we waited out nine days of poor weather and avalanche activity. As our food and time dwindled, we changed our route plan, opting to repeat the 1979 ascent of the faint south-southeast buttress. After establishing two more safe camps at 12,500 and 13,000 feet, we reached the west summit (4964 meters, 16,286 feet) in perfect weather on the evening of June 23. Four more days saw us to the Strelna trailhead.

David Culver, Unaffiliated