American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, "Irish Peaks" of the Starbird Ridge, Taurus Group, Purcells

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

“Irish Peaks” of the Starbird Ridge, Taurus Group, Purcells. On July 2 Bruce and Sue Magnuson, my wife Gretchen, our one year-old daughter Kara, and I began our packing up “Irish Creek”, which crosses the Forster Creek road around mile 21½. From a base camp at 6100 feet at “Tara Lake” Bruce and I on July 6 climbed 8900-foot “Eire Spire #3” and 9000-foot “Dublin Spire”, about one mile southwest of camp, by their jagged east ridge. Two days later we hiked to 7200-foot “Shannon Lake” and climbed south up a steep snow couloir and rock rib to an 8700-foot col, ½ mi. east of Mount Sally Serena. From here we ascended pointed 8950-foot “Leprechaun Spire” and climbed to the base of the final 30-foot sheer granite block of 9000-foot “Banshee Tower”. From the col we also climbed to about 9500-feet on the east ridge of Sally Serena, but rotten snow conditions forced us to retreat. On July 10 Gretchen and I found a route up to 7700-foot “Shamrock Lake” southwest of camp, from which point I soloed 9300-foot Mount Donegal by its east ridge. We packed out on July 11, but a week later Bruce and I returned to a highcamp at “Shannon Lake”. On July 19 we hiked 1½ miles west to the 9000-foot col northwest of Mount Sally Serena, traversed around the west buttress and into the large southwest couloir. From here we made probably the second ascent of the 9800-foot west peak of Mount Sally Serena, which we named “Mount Donard”. Time and technical considerations forced us to abandon an attempt on Sally from “Donard”. Two days later sickness and weather forced a further retreat to civilization. A complete account of all the climbs will appear in the Canadian Alpine Journal.

Curtis a. Wagner

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