American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, Kenai Mountains, Mt. Godwin, Probably First Ascent, West Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2008

Mt. Godwin, probable first ascent, West Ridge. In early April, my dad Harold Faust, George Peck, and I climbed the West Ridge (Alaska Grade 2) of Mt. Godwin in the Kenai Mountains, near Seward. At about 5,860', Mt. Godwin is not a tall peak, though it is the highest summit on the Godwin Glacier and does have 4,300' of prominence. We believe that ours was the first ascent. On March 31 we parked at Mile 13 of the Seward Highway and headed up the South Fork of the Snow River on snowshoes. We crossed the river several times, but with cold temperatures, there was only one open crossing. About seven miles up the river, we headed south into the mountains along the west side of the Kindling Glacier. Eventually we roped up and headed up the glacier to a pass between Mt. Godwin and Kindling Mountain at 4,350'. Here we set up camp. In the morning, we headed up the West Ridge of Godwin. Based on our observations from the day before, we believed the route would be nontechnical and brought little gear. Most of the ridge was a straightforward snow stomp, though a rock band at 5,300' ended up being the crux. Harold led through this section with exposed low-5th-class moves and the psychological belay of accessory cord. From the rock band the ridge continued steepening all the way to the summit; snow conditions were perfect for kick-stepping. We descended the route we climbed. Back in camp by mid-afternoon, we relaxed, ate, and explored the immediate area. The following day we headed down the Godwin Glacier to Fourth of July Creek, where we had parked a second truck.

Matt Faust

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.