American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Two Japanese Expeditions to Mount Logan's East Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1965

Two Japanese Expeditions to Mount Logan’s East Ridge. The Kansei Gakuin University Expedition was led by Kinichi Murota, who was flown in with supplies by Jack Wilson to the base of the mountain. The others, Kazuo Senda, Takuo Imai, Ichiro Mitoda, Toshikatsu Onuma, Keisuke Konishe and Takeo Niimura, left Kluane Lake on June 3 and in a week walked to Base Camp at 7000 feet on the Hubbard Glacier. They started work immediately and carried loads on June 12 to 9900 feet. Hans Gmoser, who had accompanied them, stepped into a hole and twisted his knee so badly that it became very difficult to walk. In a plane, he descended to the outer world. They returned to the supply dump, fixed two ropes higher on the ridge and on June 18 placed Camp I at 10,800 feet. Between there and Camp II they had to climb an ice wall and knife- edge. This camp they established at 12,400 feet on a terrace on June 23. They made a supply dump at 13,400 feet and on the 26th made Camp III under the Dome. On the 19th they placed Camp IV at 16,750 feet after traversing the southeast ridge, the summit of the Dome and a broad plateau. On July 3, all members started in three parties but returned from halfway on account of storm. On July 4 all climbed to the summit of the East Peak (19,790 feet). While they were at Base Camp from July 5 to 7, they met Masachika Nanjo, leader of the Fukuoka Shuyukan expedition, who had been flown in by plane, while the other members of the group were walking in. This whole second party missed the top. (Taizo Fukata, Yasuo Aida and Nobuyuki Kawano made two attempts to walk in but failed to do so. — Editor.) On the 11th Imai, Senda and Mitoda left to do archeological studies at Burwash. The other four returned to the east ridge. Snow cover had increased and the previously rock ridge became a broad snow ridge and the ice wall a snow wall, making conditions better. They climbed to Camp II on July 14, and to Camps III and IV on the next two days. On July 17 the East Peak was covered by dense cloud, which stopped activities. On July 18 they left Camp IV at 4:30 A. M. After traversing to the north ridge and rounding the east peak only 150 feet below the top, they reached a col between the East and Central peaks. They climbed up some 650 feet to a forepeak to the main one. The four climbers (Murota, Onuma, Konishi and Niimura) then all climbed to the highest summit. They were in Base Camp on July 19 and 20 and returned to Kluane Lake on August 3.

Ichiro Yoshizawa, Japanese Alpine Club

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