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North America, United States, Alaska, Alaska Range, Mt. McKinley, Cassin Ridge, Ascent and Update

Mt. McKinley, Cassin Ridge, Ascent and Update. Fredrick Wilkinson and I, both 20, made an ascent of the Cassin Ridge over June 2-3. This report is an update of the hanging serac on the route at approximately 14,200 feet. In years past, it has been necessary to make a long traverse around the serac to the left to bypass it. This is no longer necessary. A beautiful crack slightly to the right of the 14,000-foot camp has formed in the serac, allowing climbers to ascend the feature directly. This entails 40 feet of 40-degree snow and about ten to 15 feet of 60- to 70-degree rotten Alaska “snowice.” This new development saves climbers a lot of effort on the route! Overall, the route was remarkably clean, with little or no fixed rope (many fixed perlon sections around rocks, though) and clean camps. An Alaskan classic!

Bart Paull