Mountain Tribute to JFK Evoked by Kennedy Trip to Yukon
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s, visit to Canadian wilderness recalls 1965 trip of Senator Robert Kennedy to a remote mountain named for his slain brother.
Nearly a half century earlier, Kennedy's father, U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy, became the first to climb Mount Kennedy, a 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) peak named in honor of the senator's brother, President John F. Kennedy.
"That's not a mountain. That's a burble!" he exclaimed.
Washburn spoke from experience. An accomplished mountaineer and explorer, Washburn had conquered many Alaskan peaks and was the first to climb the West Buttress of Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America. At Washburn's urging, the Canadian government reconsidered, choosing a different mountain to name for the slain president, a 14,000-foot (4,267-meter) peak in the Yukon's St. Elias Mountains, just to the east of the border with Alaska.
At the time, it was Canada's tallest unclimbed peak.