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North America, Canada, Mount Howson

Mount Howson. A cairn, containing a bronze plaque, has been erected on the south col of Mount Howson in memory of Major E. R. Gibson, formerly president of the Alpine Club of Canada, who lost his life in the summer of 1957 in an attempt at the first ascent of Mount Howson (9060 feet) by the west ridge.

After the completion of the cairn, the first ascent of the mountain was made by Adolph Bitterlich (leader), John Owen, and A. W. Lash, of the A.A.C., on July 16, via the north col and north ridge. Part of this ridge had been reconnoitered by Major Gibson and R. A. Schluter in 1956, but because of heavy avalanches it was not accessible in 1957. Following the north ridge from the north col involved traversing two rock-towers, separated from each other and the peak of Mount Howson by steep ice-gullies. The first tower was not difficult. The key to the second was a rather insignificant crack attained by descending the ice gully on the west side about 10 or 15 feet. There was a long and steep ice arĂȘte between the second tower and the final ascent to the peak. The approximate time taken from camp above the icefall in Sandpiper Valley to the summit of Howson was 12 hours.

A. W. Lash, Alpine Club of Canada