American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Southern Logan Mountains, Northwest Territories

North America, Canada, Other Canadian Ranges

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Arnold Wexler
  • Climb Year: 1963
  • Publication Year: 1965

During the summer of 1963, Sterling B. Hendricks, Donald Hubbard, Major Michael Banks, and I spent three weeks climbing in the "Hole-in-the-Wall Creek” area of the Logan Mountains. On July 22 and 23 we landed by aircraft on "Lonely Lake”, about 3 or 4 miles west of "Hole-in-the-Wall Lake”. On July 24 we moved up the southwest fork of "Hole-in-the-Wall Creek”, ascended a col in the ridge north of the fork and traversed westward to the summit of "Median Peak”. Hubbard wrenched a rib, preventing his further climbing. On the 26th, we waded across the narrow neck of "Lonely Lake”, pushed through some mild brush into a small cirque and, choosing its eastern arm, scrambled to the base of a long snow gully that faced north. This led us to the ridge of "Lonely Peak” and finally to the summit. The next day we followed the southern arm of the same cirque to its head and climbed "Obscurity Peak”, the main summit to the right, by connecting gullies and ridges. On July 29, Hendricks, Banks and I established a high camp at the base of the "Gemini Peaks” above the southwest fork of "Hole-in-the-Wall Creek”. After one unsuccessful attempt on the western face of "Gemini West”, we followed the east ridge to the summit on August 1. The following day we climbed "Gemini East” by way of its east ridge. We then moved our camp over a low pass into the next basin to the west at the upper end of a delightful tarn. From here we climbed "Aries” and "Capricorn”, the former at the western and the latter at the eastern end of the basin. On August 5 we returned to "Lonely Lake”. On the 7th, Hendricks, Banks and I left Base Camp and established a climbing camp at the upper end of the main fork of "Hole-in- the Wall” Creek, on the edge of "Beaver Lake”. The next day we ascended the pyramid-shaped "Caribou Peak” to the north of "Beaver Lake”. On the 10th we climbed to the col at the western head of the valley and followed the south arête to the top of "Beaver Peak”. We returned to "Lonely Lake” August 11. Rising above "Lonely Lake” in the angle between the main and southwest forks of "Hole-in-the-Wall Creek” are three sharp peaks, with exfoliated vertical granite walls, which we christened the "Guardsmen”. On the 13th, Banks and I reached the small notch to the west of the "Third Guardsman” (westernmost one) via its southern slopes. Here we climbed several hundred feet of high-angle rock to the summit of the "Third Guardsman”. A rappel and a short scramble put us on the "Second Guardsman”. A gap with vertical walls separated us from the "First Guardsman”, a gap that we declined to try with our limited resources. Our plane arrived on schedule August 15 and evacuated us to Watson Lake.

Arnold Wexler

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.