American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Northern Selkirks

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

Northern Selkirks. If old timers thought that airdrops were a symbol of modern decadence, let them harken now to the advent of the helicopter. For some time now, a whirlybird has been used by the Canadian Geological Survey in the Interior Ranges, and thus last August, five sometime mountaineers, David Michael, Graham and Corky Matthews, my wife, Ginny, and I, came to Fairy Meadow in the Adamant-Gothics area; and although Bill Putnam and Donald Sprecker had hiked in up Swan Creek in a day, they were the first to suggest flying out. Having arrived in camp fresh and eager, we spent the first clear day assaulting the steepest ridges rising above the Granite Glacier on Pioneer Peak and Adamant, and though many pitons were driven, no summits were reached. Michael, Sprecker and I then persuaded Putnam to show us a "fine, unclimbed spire”, Wolf Point by name. The Point was reached by ascending to Friendship Col, thence crossing the Gothics Glacier, climbing to a col between Wotan and Yggdrasil, and finally traversing east and down behind Yggdrasil to a glacier at the base of Wolf Point at the eastern end of the Wotan-Yggdrasil ridge. By now we were happy to find an easy and direct route on the south face, which involved only one Class IV pitch and then 200 feet of easy scrambling to the airy summit. Spectacular rock rolling was enjoyed by some and a small “colossal” cairn was erected. The descent involved one 120,-foot rappel. After some wet weather we four set out to attempt a route on the east face of the east peak of the Gothics. After going over Pioneer Pass, we crossed the bergschrund below the face on the far south, directly below the Gargoyle. David led up steep, soft snow to the col between the Gargoyle and the east peak. From here we climbed to the base of the nearest gully on the face which may sometimes be attractive but which now contained rotten ice. David therefore led to a rock rib at the left or south of the gully, using a stirrup for the first move. In about 300 feet of steep climbing on the rib and face above, we reached the summit ridge. It was then an easy walk to the summit. We descended by the Putnam route.

George I. Bell

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