National Geographic : 1965 Jul
Canada's highest summit, 19,850-foot Mount Logan, marked the region's northwest tip. Mount Hubbard had been mapped from the Alaskan coast, 30 miles away, as a key turning point on the Canadian boundary. Its huge icy dome and that of its partner, 14,500 foot Mount Alverstone, had loomed for three decades as tiny islands of the known in a sea of unmapped mountains and glaciers. Unknown Peak of Himalayan Grandeur Just east of Hubbard and Alverstone rose another giant that we judged to be 14,000 feet high. Unlike the rounded domes of its neighbors, this mountain had a sharp, almost Himalayan summit (page 7), flanked with staggering precipices of ice and granite. Throughout those long, eventful first flights, and even after months of ground exploration, this new peak stood out vividly as the most exciting and majestic of the scores we discovered. I have kept a photographic en largement of the mountain before my desk for many years. To me it epitomized all the mighty mountain grandeur of Alaska and the Yukon. It was a thrill to learn last January, thirty years after we discovered the peak, that Can ada had named it Mount Kennedy in honor of our late President. Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson announced the selection. The Ca nadians sought a mountain that had not pre viously been named, that towered lofty and magnificent, and that lay as close as possible to the international boundary, where it would endure as a symbol of the unique friendship that exists between our two great nations. They could not have chosen better. Last March and April, I revisited the superb St. Elias range as leader of the Mount Ken nedy Yukon Expedition, cosponsored by the National Geographic Society and Boston's Museum of Science. Prompt cooperation came from the Canadian and United States Gov ernments, particularly their Air Forces. Since our first expedition, the Canadians had made an excellent map of the area, on a scale of 1/4-inch to the mile. Now we planned surveys that would make possible new maps on a scale five times larger, with much more detail-the actual shapes of peaks and gla ciers, of snow fields, crevasses, and moraines. Senator Robert F. Kennedy expressed a wish to be among the first climbers to set foot on his brother's peak, and we invited him to join our advance party, assigned to place a survey marker there. Careful planning, su perb weather, and wonderful Canadian co operation resulted in total success for this 2 important first phase of our expedition. Steep, snowy slope on Lowell Glacier proved too much for the sled team of the 1935 expedi tion. Here the explorers, having unhitched the dogs, haul up the sled themselves.