American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Attempt on Queen Mary; Other St. Elias Peaks

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1967

Attempt on Queen Mary; other St. Elias Peaks. As seasonal employees of the Icefield Ranges Research Project, Alex Bittenbender, Don Stockard and I dug snow-sample pits in record time to allow time-off for climbing. When Peter Dodds, Will Harrison and Alf Pinchak walked 60 miles up the Kaskawulsh Glacier to our Divide Camp at 8400 feet, we were able to join them in trying the second ascent of c. 13,000-foot Mount Queen Mary. Our route among the crevasses on the north face went easily, but as luck would have it, we blundered our way to the wrong snow bump on the summit ridge in one of the few white-outs of the summer. Not realizing our mistake at the time, we held a happy psuedo-summit party at 4:15 A.M. on July 14. After descending the ascent route, we made what we thought was the first ascent of a c. 10,750-foot satellite peak to the north of Queen Mary, traversing it from south to north. Later research showed we had made the second ascent of the "Gnurdelhorn” instead. (See A.A.J., 1962, 13:1, p. 232, where the altitude was given as only 9500 feet.) Weather was amazingly good in the St. Elias last summer and so Alex, Don and I made the second ascent of c. 11,750-foot Donjek Peak on July 21. We ascended the central south rib, a new route, over mixed rock, ice and snow. Phil Upton (AINA) tells us that this is the name accepted by the Canadians for the peak climbed by the Japanese Dr. Takeo Yoshima and his wife Kikuko in 1965. (A.A.J., 1966, 15:1, pp. 151-2.)

Dave Johnston

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