American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, East Peak of Mount Stutfield

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1963

East Peak of Mount Stutfield. It was the assumption of many that, with the ascent of the Center Peak of Mount Bryce in 1961, the last 11,000- foot peak of the Canadian Rockies had been climbed. Bill Hooker and I were therefore rather surprised to find the apparently unclimbed East Peak of Mount Stutfield shown on the Boundary Commission Map as a distinct, separate peak with an elevation of 11,000+ feet. Before dawn on August 15, we forded the Sunwapta River below Tangle Creek and followed the emergent stream from the Stutfield Glaciers to the tongue of the latter. The north lateral moraine of the glacier was followed for a short distance, after which steep slopes and game trails were followed northwest into a hanging valley containing a small, stone-covered glacier. Direct progress from here to the col between East Stutfield and the unnamed 10,900-foot peak was blocked by three formidable cliff bands. However, a few hundred yards to the right, we worked out a route up a steep snow gully, followed by several hundred feet of moderate scrambling to an unstable scree band along which we traversed left to the col. The objective peak was then ascended by moderate ice and crusted snow on its northwest ridge. The rounded, dome-like summit lies, like Mount Kitchener, along the very eastern edge of the Columbia Icefield, and drops very precipitously to the east. After a brief stop, we descended to the broad col between the two Stutfield Peaks, and climbed the higher main peak, whence we returned to the highway via the Columbia Icefield and Athabaska Glacier.

William J. Buckingham

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