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Antarctica, Sentinel Range, Mt. Bentley, Northeast Ridge, Ascent

Mt. Bentley, Northeast Ridge, Ascent. The most notable ascent in the Sentinel Range this season was on Mt. Bentley (4145m), well north of Vinson Massif. Americans Wally Berg and Bob Elias were installing weather beacons and surveying on the Embree Glacier, visited for the first time in the 1998-’99 season. The north face of Mt. Anderson (4157m), the highest unclimbed peak in the Sentinel Range, is accessed from here, but was not considered feasible this season by Berg. On January 12, Berg and Elias spent eight and a half hours ascending, unroped, the northeast ridge of Mt. Bentley. This is a stunningly aesthetic direct line rising around 1800 meters straight out of the Embree Glacier. The pair did not visit the summit, stopping about 60 meters short due to high winds and the difficulty of a precarious ice ridge. They made a point of not claiming the second ascent of Mt. Bentley. The first ascent of Mt. Bentley was made via the south ridge in January, 1998, by Veikka Gustafsson and Patrick Degerman of Finland.

Damien Gildea