American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Mount Shaughnessy, Selkirks

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

Mount Shaughnessy, Selkirks. On August 8, Dr. Robert West and I decided to try Mount Shaughnessy (9320 feet), the only named peak of Glacier Park remaining unclimbed. Since we had both been turned back from it previously, Bob twice and myself once, we had a score to settle. We took the train from Glacier to Stoney Creek on the eighth, and rose at 3:30 A.M. on August 9 The principal problem with Mount Shaughnessy is one of access. It is impossible to reach it from the Hermits, just south, and access from the east is only by heavily wooded ridges. Since Bob and I were already well aware that certain of the ridges would not work, we plunged into the dense forest between Stoney Creek and Shaughnessy Creek, confident that at last we had the right ridge. By remaining on the south (Stoney Creek) side of the ridge we found reasonably easy going, although patches of alder and willow frequently barred our way. After about three hours, we had gained about 3000 feet and had our first look at Shaughnessy. It was then possible to drop down from the ridge to the very active Hermit Glacier, across the many fresh moraines below it, skirt its northern edge and attain the east ridge of Shaughnessy itself. We reached the top of the arête at about 7800 feet and left our ice axes there for the final 1500 feet of rock climbing to the summit. The climbing was interesting without ever being really difficult, and we felt the need for a belay only twice. The actual summit consisted of a long, narrow block, over 100 feet in length and in most places less than two feet in width. It is most easily reached by an obvious chimney, followed by a traverse along ledges on the west side to the highest point. We completed the climb at about 12:30 p.m. and constructed a small cairn in which to leave a register. The Hermit Range presented a splendid and spectacular sight just across the Hermit Glacier and the lack of a route to Shaughnessy from the south was quite obvious.

Winslow Briggs

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