American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Mount Sally Serena and the Irish Peaks, Taurus Group, Purcells

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1972

Mount Sally Serena and the “Irish Peaks", Taurus Group, Purcells. On July 24 the A. Maki, C. Wagner, and R. C. West families began their backpacking up Irish Creek to camps at Tara and Shannon Lakes. Two days later Bob and David West made a first ascent of 8800-foot Eire Spire #1 from the southeast. On July 27 Art Maki, Bob and Peggy West, and I hiked a mile up the Shannon Glacier and then climbed a prominent, steep snow couloir on the northeast face of 9880-foot Mount Donard, gaining the ridge at about 9700 feet. An attempt on the long, irregular west ridge of Sally Serena was aborted, and we turned instead to complete the ascent of Donard by its east ridge (third ascent, new route). We descended the 1970 southwest couloir route to the col northwest of Donard, from where we ascended the granite southeast ridge of 9550-foot Leitrim Peak (second ascent, new route; it was first ascended the previous day from the west by the A. Larson party). Two days later, on July 29, Art Maki, Bob West, and I ascended steep snowfields and rock ribs to gain the east ridge of Mount Sally Serena about 1½ mile east of the main summit. We climbed west over a 9400-foot rock spur and up several long leads of steep snow to the final rock ridge at about 9700 feet. Two leads on the north face were followed by three leads over the jagged ridge crest and one lead across the north face of the summit pyramid, after which the 9950-foot summit was reached via the northwest rocks, about 7 hours from Shannon Lake. On the summit we found a small cairn, presumably left by MacCarthy in 1915. We added our second-ascent record and descended via our ascent route. Two days later Bob and Peggy climbed 9000-foot Dublin Spire from the southwest side (second ascent, new route), and continued eastward over 8900-foot Eire Spire #3 (second ascent) and 8850-foot Eire Spire #2 (first ascent), On the same day David West, my wife Gretchen and daughter Kara Marie (2 years) and I made the first ascent of 9000-foot Mount Cuchalainn (½ mile southeast of the Banshee Tower) via its prominent northwest snow couloir. A complete account of all the climbs will appear in the Canadian Alpine Journal.


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