Alpine Club of Canada

ACC Gazette - Winter 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 22 of 31

Le club alpin du Canada | Gazette | hiver 2020 23 On a plateau above the SE Arm. A central base camp was established at 3,535m. Access by Beaver aircraft via 40-minute round trip flight from Chitina, AK. >>> Team: Dave Britnell, Paul Geddes, Norm Greene Willa Harasym, Martin LeR- oux, Mark McDermott, Bill McKenzie, Tony Marshall, Joe Piccininni, Roger Wallis. In 1997 our tea m of 10 Toronto Section members spent 17 days on the Anderson Glacier. Ours was the first pa rty to la nd a t this site a nd in the 23 yea rs since no pa rty has returned. Since "9/11" flying from Alaska across the Yukon border into the pa rk has been closed a nd access to this remote destina tion from within Ca nada is problema tic. We were proud to accomplish the first ascents of three previously unclimbed 4,000m peaks during this ca mp. South Slagga rd (4,370m), then the highest unclimbed peak in North America, was ascended via the east face by two pa rties a nd by the north ridge by a third, all 10 members summiting. West Slagga rd I (4.290m), then being the next highest unclimbed peak in North America, was ascended by the east face by all 10 mem- bers of our tea m in three rope pa rties. Southeast Slagga rd (4,207m), then the sixth highest unclimbed peak, was tra- versed on skis by seven of us, ascending the NW face a nd descending the N ridge. An unsuccessful a ttempt was made on the ninth highest peak in Ca nada, Mt. Slagga rd (4,742m), via a new route by Ma rtin a nd Norm. During this camp we scouted a route to- wards West Slaggard II (4,210m), but we had to retreat leaving this snow covered peak unclimbed as the four feet of new snow that had fallen since we arrived rendered the peak out of condition for climbing. With the park closed for the 2020 climbing season, West Slaggard II will remain for a little longer "the highest unclimbed mountain in North America." By selecting challenging but not too dangerous objectives and keeping our egos in check, no serious accidents occurred on any of the trips and we all remained friends. Over these three camps we spent a total of 528 person days on the glaciers climbing 36 peaks of which 25 were first ascents and 11 were by new routes. ough the maps are good, it remains difficult to research a climbing destination within the St. Elias Mountains, as even today there is no reliable printed guidebook to the area. After the trips with the Toronto Section in the 1990s, I returned a nother six times for other exciting experiences in the St. Elias Mounta ins. Readers who would like to know more a bout these trips, or climbers resea rching their own expedi- tions a re directed to the Photo Insiders a rticle on Aspects, the ACC blog. ~ACC Roger and Paul on summit of Pinnacle Peak at 3,690m with Mt. Logan (left) andMt. St. Elias (centre) in the distance. Photo by Bill McKenzie." Captions, facing page: 1. Paul approaching ice cliff below the sum- mit of Pinnacle Peak. Photo by Bill McKenzie. 2. Paul climbing the final pitch to the summit of West Slaggard I. The Anderson Glacier winding its way towards Alaska in the dis- tance. Photo by Bill McKenzie. 3. Paul and Roger at the Kaskawulsh camp's water works, using the sun's energy to melt snow for all their water needs. Photo by Bill McKenzie. 4. Pinnacle Peak, the E ridge is the left skyline; the N face is in full sunshine; the N ridge divides sun from shadow; the upper W ridge is the right skyline. Photo by Roger Wallis. 5. West Slaggard I, 4,290m (centre of photo) was climbed on our second attempt. The route went through the barrier of seracs and up the upper east face in sunlight. West Slaggard II, 4,210m, is the peak to the left. The route from our camp was abandoned before reaching the east face snow slopes which connect to the summit ridge. It therefore remains – "the high- est unclimbed mountain in North America." Find resources and more photos related to this story at: www.alpineclubofca /ga zette 1997 - Anderson Glacier

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of Alpine Club of Canada - ACC Gazette - Winter 2020