American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mount Peskett

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1971

Mount Peskett. East of Mount Murchison a number of summits, only some of which have been climbed, rise to over 10,000 feet. Late in July we entered by way of Spreading Creek, turning southeast up its second tributary to camp at timberline above the third series of waterfalls. Our party consisted of Brooks and Ann Dodge, Dieter von Hennig, Victor Mahler, Dr. and Mrs. Edgar Holmes, Arnold Wexler, Rudi Gertsch, Leo Grillmair and me. Hans Gmoser and I had planned this trip for some months, but he could not make it. From our first camp we ascended the prominent cirque to our east, passing through the 1000-foot cliff band by a series of ledges just below what is left of the glacier. Mount Peskett is the northernmost of the three peaks that form the east wall of this valley. We reached the ridge south of the middle peak and the entire party then made that ascent. After lunch on the summit we split. Grillmair, von Hennig and I went north along the ridge to Peskett and back in only two hours, although we had a bit of a scramble to get down over a notable step at the north end of the middle peak. Meanwhile the rest of the party had without difficulty gone south to the third summit, which is slightly higher than the two northerly ones. We moved camp to the extreme head of Spreading Creek under the southeast towers of Mount Murchison. From here Brooks Dodge, von Hennig and I made a long trek to the northeast to climb the peak which forms the west side of Spreading Creek and is hairily spectacular from that side. Meanwhile Gertsch had scampered over a couple of summits south of our camp to see what he could of our main objective, “Totem Tower”. Having a favorable report, we moved en masse to the col at the south of the peak, which is clearly seen from the Banff-Jasper highway at the Totem Creek crossing. Our route, somewhat on the west side, had two interesting and very exposed pitches on which Gertsch did the honors. They can be readily spotted as steps in the south ridge.

William L. Putnam

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.