American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
Black Diamond Logo

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Purcell Range, Farnham Group

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1955

Purcell Range, Farnham Group. During August 1954 a party of five, four of us members of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, climbed in the Farnham Group of the Purcell Range. The party was composed of Arthur Read, Robert West, his wife Peggy, Peter Luster, and John Noxon. Our supplies were packed by Mr. Tegeart of Invermere, who took his horses to the head of Farnham Creek and out again in the remarkably short time of three days. We floundered after him through downed timber and occasionally in the river bed where an avalanche track blocked the way. The journey up Horsethief Creek and its tributary, Farnham Creek, required four days. From a camp in the upper valley of Farnham Creek we climbed Cleaver, the Guardsmen (two of them first ascents), and Jumbo. All of these we easily reached from the Commander Icefield, which we gained by a long snowslope below the Cleaver. From the lower edge of the icefield, active almost everywhere, there is a continual rain of séracs and ours was in fact the only safe approach. While the others climbed Jumbo, Read and Noxon traversed Commander; we particularly enjoyed the ascent of the north ridge despite rotten rock and unsuspected ice above. During the next few days we removed to a high camp in the Farnham - Sir Charles Cirque, and from there all climbed Sir Charles by a new route on the south ridge. Read and West also made the third ascent of Mt. Farnham. Prolonged bad weather precluded further climbing.

John Noxon

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.