American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Princeton Mountaineering Club

  • Club Activities
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1956

Princeton Mountaineering Club. On June 17, 1955, Kerck Kelsey (President), Tom Tifft, Dave Isles, Terhan Tirana, Guy Williamson, and Bruce Carrick assembled in the Club station wagon and departed for Glacier, B. C. The party reached the Illecillewaet camp grounds on the 23rd and received much information from Mr. Beede, the parkkeeper, about the Hermit Range, our immediate objective. We turned toward the Hermit Trail which led to Mt. Tupper (9,239 feet). That afternoon we pitched camp at about 7,000 feet, just above tree line. Our first campsite in the snow proved comfortable but wet. On the 24th, we crossed the snowy approaches to the rock and began our climb involving snow work, rock scrambling and moraine climbing, stopping for lunch on the false summit. We then continued on rock until reaching the top. The sunlight was starting to disappear, so we ran, stumbled, and glissaded back to our campsite in a flurry of snow, and restored ourselves on frozen orange juice.

The next day, the party descended to the Illecillewaet camp grounds to dry out and spend the night. The following morning the food supply was replenished, and we started up the trail to Mt. Sir Donald (10,800 feet), camping next to the Perley Rock Trail at 6,800 feet.

On the morning of the 26th we made a late start for Sir Donald. A creek formed the first part of our trail and led to a steep grass slope which we followed. Snowy ridges soon presented themselves, and we began the endless job of traversing them. The snow began to blow intermittently, later turning into a blizzard. We could not find the summit. Since the hour was late, we descended to camp. At the lower levels of our day’s climbing, the sun had melted much of the snow and several avalanches broke near us. The constant rumblings of avalanches in other parts of the valley convinced us to descend on the rock facing the Illecillewaet Névé. The next morning clouds covered the mountains, and we returned to the Glacier railroad station and headed to our summer jobs.

Thomas R. Tifft

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