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Mount Seattle - Southsouthwest Ridge
Timestamp Free: 2020.05.26 - 12:08:22
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Saint Elias Mountains / Icefield Ranges
Participants: Fred Beckey and others
Brief summary of the first ascent of Mount Seattle by the SSW Ridge.
The first ascent of Seattle was by Fred Beckey and party in May 1966 (AAJ 1966-7 pp.265-268). After an air reconnaissance they concluded the S summit was the higher (a conclusion we can now support). They also felt that the N Ridge, their original objective, was corniced, exposed to the wind and devoid of campsites, and so opted for the SSW Ridge. Enthused about climbing from the sea and lacking convenient access to a ski plane, they sailed in via the Russell Fjord and approached via the Variegated Glacier. They almost lost their gear in the sinking boat after it struck ice, but eventually reached the S summit on 16 May after equipping 2 camps on the approach and 2 on the mountain. The trip was filmed by a Seattle company, resulting in a broadcast documentary.
The N and S summits are 2km apart as the crow flies, and 3km or so along the ridge line. The N peak is the boundary peak (no. 178), marked as 10,070 ft (3069m). The S peak was given a height of 10,185 ft by the 1966 Beckey team; this is inconsistent with the maps but we did observe the S peak to be the higher...
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