Cov. 16 Feb 2010.

I climbed the West Rib on McKinley with Cov in 1981. I remember Cov and I waiting on Kalhiltna Glacier for Lowell Thomas, Jr to drop off the last two drag bags for our climb. We were standing looking out across a basin when ‘Boom’… it sounded like a canon going off. It was an avalanche that traveled from one mountain base stopping at the other. Huge. I remember Cov saying that he spent his 30th birthday on the face of Lohtse looking at Everest thinking that he’d never make it to age thirty. We passed Muggs Stump – who was attempting Mooses Tooth and made it. He died on McKinley in 1992 when a hanging serac collapsed on him. Gunnar Naslund another expedition crew member and Alaska native died the year following our climb, 1982, in the Wrangell mountains. He loved that range and we had talked about trying one of the routes the following year. He was on a cornice when it gave way. The peak was re-named Mt Naslund. Gunnar was an attorney that gave up practising law for high altitude climbing. Very cool guy and I felt fortunate to have known him.

Published by William Vaughan

filmmaker, artist

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