American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Coast Range, Ape Lake Region

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1964

Ape Lake Region, Coast Range. Our group gathered at Nimpo Lake on August 4 and in three shuttles in Dick Poet’s Cessna all eight of us were placed on the shores of Ape Lake. This used to be reached in six rough days of back-packing but was now accomplished in 20 minutes. We split into two groups and proceeded to different territories — one new to us and the other offering several excellent first ascents. Joan and Joe Firey, George Whitmore and Frank de Saussure traversed the great icefield past Jacobsen and camped the second night near Mount Cerberus (climbed in 1961). Starting on August 7, on successive days this ambitious group climbed the “Cleaver” from northwest to southeast; placed a new route on Mount Geryon, the southeast ridge, and descended the west ridge; and climbed “Chili” Peak’s southwest ridge for a first ascent. On August 11 they made the first ascent of Sciron Mountain, doing all summits from the east. After a bivouac they climbed Sciron Spire by the east ridge and south face. Meanwhile Phil Bettler, Jim and Leslie Wilson (son of 12 years), and I camped on the Beelzebub glacier, east of the peak, and on August 7 made the first ascent of “Jezebel”, the peak at the head of the glacier, by the west ridge and the next day that of Beelzebub by the west ridge. We moved camp to the head of the glacier west of Mount Ratcliff, which we climbed by the west face to the snow and then along the skyline to the summit, a new route but a second ascent, as the mountain had been climbed in 1962 by two Vancouver climbers via the east ridge from Talchako valley. From Ape Lake we proceeded upwards and easterly into unknown territory near Ape Mountain. This area actually offers many splendid climbs but we settled on Ape Mountain and reached the summit about four p.m. on August 15. Rain prevented further activity.

Richard C. Houston

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