American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mounts Slaggard, McCauley and Wood, St. Elias Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Mounts Slaggard, McCauley and Wood, St. Elias Range. On August 4 Bud Bingham, Jon Shinno, Sy Ossofsky and I of Los Angeles, Ray D’Arcy, George Wallerstein and Fred Martin of the San Francisco Bay area and Bill Davis of Denver met in Cordova, Alaska. From there we flew by commercial plane to the May Creek landing strip and after several days of bad weather were landed by a ski-wheel plane at 10,000 feet on the Anderson Glacier, west of Mount Wood. We established Base Camp there on August 8. After two days spent setting up a high camp at 13,000 feet on the col between Mount Slaggard and Mount McCauley, southwest of Mount Wood, on August 11 we made the first ascent of Mount Slaggard (15,575 feet) by its east ridge and on August 12 that of Mount McCauley (15,475 feet) by the southwest ridge. (The altitudes were measured with a Wild T-12 Theodolite which we carried to the summit of Mount Slaggard. Six peaks of known altitude were observed and the probable maximum error is 75 feet.) These were apparently the two highest unclimbed mountains in North America and had been so since 1951. We moved high camp in two days on a long traverse to an altitude of 13,000 feet below the west face of Mount Wood. After a day of storm, the second ascent of Mount Wood (15,880 feet) was made on August 16 via the west spur, a new route. Extremely strong winds struck us on the final ridge. We returned to Base Camp on August 17. Unfortunately storms prevented any further ascents and on August 21 we began the 40-mile trip down the Anderson Glacier. Two days were spent in finding a route through crevasse fields, followed by a day of walking on good ice in the rain. Two more days of rain, tedious moraines and quicksand-like mud brought us to a gravel bar at the snout of the glacier, from which we flew back to May Creek on August 26.

Barbara Lilley

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