American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Wood, First Ascent of Mount Craig

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1970

Mount Wood, First Ascent of Mount Craig. The expedition of the Mountaineering Association of Nagano Prefecture consisted of Ryo Shimada, leader; Yoshiharu Hoshino, Tsubasa Tezuka, Kazuo Kasai, Shinei Matsumi, Mitsugu Nakazawa, Hajime Uchida, Masaaki Komatsu and Etsuo Hitachi. We were flown to Base Camp at 6000 feet on the Brabazon Glacier below the northwest ridge of Mount Wood on June 8. Camp I was pitched at 7875 feet on June 10. Between there and Camp II at 9500 feet was a broken rock ridge. Above Camp II was a knife-edge, many crevasses and a moderate slope. Camp III at 10,825 feet was established on June 12. Kasai, Nakazawa and Matsumi left Camp III at nine p.m. They climbed the long knife-edge and ice wall. At six a.m. they got to the unclimbed north peak, where they slept until noon. They climbed the virgin central peak at 2:30 and the south (highest) peak of Mount Wood (15,885 feet) at 6:30. Just one day later, Komatsu, Uchida and I repeated the ascent. We were back at Base by June 18. It was very lucky to have caught the finest days during our ascent. The weather became bad and continued thus for about a week. On the 21st we left Base Camp and ascended the Brabazon Glacier and established Camp I at 8000 feet. After a few days of storm, we put Camp II directly under Mount Craig at 9700 feet on June 27. We all left Camp II at 11:30 p.m. on the 28th. Tezuka, Komatsu, Hitachi and I headed for the east ridge. We passed through a hanging glacier and reached the ridge. At six A.M. we got to the ice wall that had stopped the previous American party. We were stopped too but turned to the perpendicular ice wall at the right. We climbed this 150-foot wall in an ice chimney in four hours. Above the wall we met a knife-edge. We returned after getting to within 65 feet of the top. Meanwhile the northeast ridge party, Nakazawa and Matsumi, successfully made the first ascent of Mount Craig (13,250 feet). The worst place was 150 feet below the top. They got to the summit at 4:30 p.m. and were back at Camp II at ten in the morning of June 30. Kasai and Uchida went with the east ridge party to the main ridge. They made the second ascent of Snowfield Peak (13,400 feet) at 12:30 on the 29th and continued on to make the first ascent of Avalanche Peak (13,818 feet) at 3:30. There was a difficult knife-edge near the top. Avalanche Peak lies east of Mount Craig and west of Mount Stickland.

Yoshiharu Hoshino, Shimosuma Alpine Club.

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