American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mt. Chancellor

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1932

Mt. Chancellor (10,761 Feet)—Canadian Rockies

The second ascent of this peak was made by Miss Georgia Engelhard with the Swiss guide, Ernest Feuz, on July 24th, 1931, almost exactly thirty years after the first ascent by Sir James Outram and party. Leaving Wapta Falls Camp near Leanchoil at 2 a.m. by car, they arrived at the base of the mountain about four. In three hours of steady going through timber they attained an elevation of about 6,500 feet near the spot where Outram bivouacked. They then took to the steep rock of the great southwest arête, far to the left of the gully utilized by Outram. For two hours they climbed up steep bluffs and along a narrow ridge of extremely rotten rock with great drops on each side. At 9,000 feet they were forced to traverse right over slabs with scant holds and no anchorages, using the greatest care. The traverse was three rope-lengths wide and they used sneakers. Thus they attained another arête which brought them, after an hour of hard climbing, to the main southwest arête of the mountain, which proved to be long and much be-pinnacled. At 12.30 p.m., after 8½ hours of almost constant climbing, they gained the beautiful corniced summit.

They found Outram's record, quite by accident, written upon a torn and weatherworn paper. Only the names of Outram and Christian Häsler remained and the date of their ascent. The names of Messrs. Weed and Scattergood had been obliterated by the elements, their being no bottle or tin container. They remained on the summit one hour, the weather being fine, though smokey in the distance. After building a cairn next to the cornice and leaving their names in a small tin box, they descended in four hours by Outram’s route of ascent. Care was needed on slabs coated with hard frozen snow near the summit, but once in the gully, glissades took them rapidly down to a belt of bluffs, which necessitated a traverse to the right, somewhat uphill. This conducted them to grassy ledges by which they descended to timber and the road at 5.30 p.m., total climbing time 12½ hours.

Habel-Collie Traverse. The same party ascended Mt. Habel by the usual route from Twin Falls Chalet. They descended its north face on very steep fresh snow to the Habel-Collie col, which seemed to present an easy route to Mt. Collie. However, they soon encountered a series of huge ice-falls and were forced to descend some 2,000 feet in the direction of Habel névé. Passing through numerous crevasses, they attained the scree slopes which lead to the south rock arête and thence the summit. The rock arête presented an unfavorable stratification. The snow to the right was too soft for use, although later in the season it would have afforded an easy route.

Georgia Engelhard.

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