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North America, Canada, Coast Range, Mount Waddington, First Winter Ascent

Mount Waddington, First Winter Ascent. A1 Steck, Bill St. Lawrence, Les Wilson, Bob Cuthbert, Dr. Barry Hagen and I flew to the Tiedemann Glacier from Prince George on February 18. Even before the ski-equipped Otter plane had landed, we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of icing on high summits and of avalanche tracks on steep snow slopes. The weather also favored us. We skied through the Bravo Icefall without major problems. An unexplained epidemic of something between nausea and lassitude actually proved the main adversity on this trip. There were interesting leads over verglas on the summit tower, but no worse than those reported by less fortunate summer expeditions. Furthermore the ice-feathers were more stable in winter. Our first party of three reached the summit from a snow cave near Spearman Col on February 21 and the remainder two days later. The stable snow and light icing conditions may be common in the high Coast Mountains in winter, but the good weather was blind luck.

Richard R. Culbert