American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Selkirks, Pioneer Peak

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

Pioneer Peak. Two new routes were made to this summit on August 3. The more elegant was done by George Bell and David Michael. An abrupt buttress rises to a point just east of the summit from the Stickle branch of the Granite Glacier. From Fairy Meadow they climbed snow to reach the base of the ridge via an ice gully. The route lay mostly on the western side of the 1500-foot arête. A steep snow saddle a few hundred feet below the summit was not as severe an obstacle as it had appeared, though it was difficult to regain the rock on the higher side. Over 40 pitons were placed, some for direct aid. The round trip from the cabin took twelve hours. The other route was via the northeast arête. A previous attempt had been made in 1963 but was turned back for lack of time. The successful party consisted of Corky Matthews, Moses Goddard, Rob Wallace and me. Approach was complicated by crevasses in the upper Granite Glacier, but we finally crossed the bergschrund in less than four hours from Fairy Meadow. Ascending from the west side of the arête to its crest was the only difficult part of the route, rope being required and several belays necessary. From there we were mostly on the crest of the arête, where steep soft snow caused the only problem. Our route joined the one described above after the ridge had been attained. We took nine hours for the round trip, descent being hastened by thunderstorms. Both groups descended via the Gothics Glacier and Friendship Col.

William Lowell Putnam

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