American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Logan

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1969

Mount Logan. The Arctic Institute of North America, Kluane Station, carried on a successful research season on Mount Logan with the establishment of laboratory and living quarters at 17,400 feet about midway on the Logan Plateau. During the last days of May and the first few of June, Institute pilot Phil Upton flew three research groups to the King Trench: an independent CRREL (Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab) party of Charles Keeler, Bill Fleming and Al Timburi, two Institute surveyors, Gerry Holdsworth and Terry Hughes, and the final party of Joe LaBelle, King Seegar, Del Smith, and myself, who would remain the summer at altitude. Ascent was made by all parties via the west buttress, and a large camp was set on the plateau somewhat below the high pass at the top of the buttress on June 13. The CRREL party set an overwinter weather monitor in the pass, completed snow studies, and descended in late June. The surveyors ascended the northwest summit with a theodolite to tie in the major heights of Logan with a point of the 1913 survey above the Logan Glacier, and were flown out from the plateau camp on June 20. In the summering party King Seegar developed severe blood and eye complications and was evacuated by air from the plateau on June 15; the remaining three of us located and dug out the buried plywood hut begun the previous season by another party, and by the end of June had completed it as an underground electrified heated laboratory at 17,400 feet. The principle work of the station was a continuation of the High Mountain Environmental Project directed by Drs. Charles Houston and Charles Bryon, studying the effects of altitude on human physiology. Phil Upton’s excellent piloting permitted direct flying between Kluane and the plateau settlement for doctors, subjects, and technicians involved. The station also maintained a weather facility through most of June and July, reporting three-hourly; and Joe LaBelle faithfully carried on snow and ice studies, including daily temperature profiles. Rock samples were collected from most outcrops throughout the plateau. Joe, Del, and I closed the station in early August, marked it, and took a leisurely and enjoyable descent to the King Trench on skiis provided. We flew to Kluane on August 7. The following summits of Logan were reached: Prospectors (head of west buttress) on June 30 by LaBelle, Underwood; Northwest on June 17 by Holdsworth, Hughes, on July 1 by LaBelle, Smith and July 7 by Underwood; Northeast on July 22 by LaBelle, Smith, Underwood; West on July 26 by LaBelle, Smith, Underwood; Main on July 27 by LaBelle, Smith, Underwood; East on July 27 by Smith, Underwood; Ice Dome (east of Prospectors) on July 31 by Underwood; Snow Dome (west of Prospectors) on August 1 by LaBelle, Smith, Underwood; Sonorous (northwest corner of plateau) on August 4 by LaBelle, Smith, Underwood.

James C. Underwood, Arctic Institute of North America

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