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Archive for April, 1969

David Seidman

David Seidman was killed in an avalanche while attempting Mt. Dhaulagiri on April 28, 1969.

David Seidman was a strong climber. He was the strongest member of our 1967 expedition on the evening that we reached the top of the South Face of Mount McKinley. The summit was still several miles away and at first we took turns breaking trail along the summit ridge. It soon became evident that Dave was in the best shape and we were content to follow in his track, watching him fall through the wind-crust to his knees every step while we struggled to keep up. Two days later we lost our way on the descent. Dave took the lead and confidently led us down the southeast buttress to a really needed food cache. On the hike out he carried a 125-pound pack for sixteen miles through soft snow and arrived at Base Camp looking fresh.

Dave was already a good climber when he arrived at Dartmouth, having climbed in New England and having worked as a hut-boy for the Appalachian Mountain Club. He became President of the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club in his junior year. The following summer, after making several first ascents in the Alaska Coast Range, he led a DMC climbing camp to the Selkirks, where he made the first ascent of the southeast face of Mount Cougar. Last summer he led the first ascent of the north ridge of Mount Kennedy in the Yukon.

It was fun to climb with Dave; he was solid, good-natured and enthusiastic, as well as an excellent mountaineer. I saw him last at the A.A.C. Annual Dinner in Philadelphia. He was enjoying life and excited about his climbing plans. He was handsome and dashing and when he presented his story of the ascent of Mount Kennedy, I suspect he titillated the imagination of more than one lady at the meeting. Dave seemed so alive and happy then that it now seems especially cruel that it should all end in that avalanche on Dhaulagiri.

American Alpine Journal

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