American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, North West Territories, Logan Mountains

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

Logan Mountains. Ted Maden, Nona Okun and I landed at the upper end of Lonely Lake in Hole-in-the-Wall valley on July 16 and set up Base Camp about half a mile further west by a river. Two days later we all climbed the twin “Reconnaissance Peaks” lying directly north of the small lake between Lonely and Beaver lakes. Next day Ted and I climbed the First Guardsman. To reach the col between the First and Second Guardsman we traversed round the east ridge and south face, from where two steep rock pitches (F7, A1 ) led to the summit. We now moved to the Nightwind area, and on July 22 climbed “Sunset Peak,” conspicuously overlooking Nightwind Creek and lying immediately south of 24. (All numbers and names without quotation marks refer to William J. Buckingham’s map published A.A.]., 1966.) “Nightwind Peak” lies, on the map, halfway between 21 and 22 and is the highest point overlooking the southern Nightwind Lake (“Dawnwind Lake”). Ted and I climbed this point and Peak 22 by their southwest ridges on July 24, and “Promontory Peak” (23) by its east ridge on July 27. From a campsite high in the valley on its north side, on July 30 Ted and I made the second ascent of Mount Savage by a new route, the east ridge. Our next excursion was to the Thunder Dome massif, and on August 6 we all climbed peaks 15 and 14 on their north sides. The most feasible ascent of Thunder Dome from the Lonely Lake side appears to be by the “Ice Chimney” route climbed by Ted and me on August 7. From the foot of the southwest face go left to a small snow col, passing beneath a large chimney-gap. The several-hundred-feet-high, rock-walled, hard-ice-filled, north-facing chimney is then only too obvious. Descend by climbing and rappelling down the chimney-gap. On the north side of Thunder Dome there is a system of Yosemite-like faces and slabs reaching down to Hole-in-the-Wall Lake, perhaps over 2500 feet high, through which slashes “The Ramp” from bottom left to upper right, merging onto a wall at a corner a few hundred feet below the summit plateau. On August 9, Ted and I climbed “The Ramp” (NCCS IV, F6) and bivouacked on the summit plateau of Thunder Dome. Next day we traversed over the top of Thunder Dome, down the chimney-gap, and climbed “Storm Point” (17) and “Symmetry Spire” (16), both on their southeast sides. Back at Lonely Lake, Ted and I climbed the east ridge of the First Guardsman on August 13. This was a rock climb of about ten pitches, NCCS IV, F8, with the final three pitches as follows: a steep slab with a start above an overhang reached by sly rope moves from knifeblades, a short vicious overhanging jam-crack, and a magnificent 150-foot flake and crack pitch up the final vertical granite wall. On August 15, Ted and Nona climbed “Lonely Spur,” the peak overlooking Lonely Lake and connected by a ridge to Lonely Peak, and next day we were flown out to Watson Lake. These climbs were all first ascents except where noted.

Peter Rowat, Alpine Climbing Group

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