American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Sawtooth Mountain, W. Hamill (Toby) Group, Purcells

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

“Sawtooth Mountain”, W. Hamill (Toby) Group, Purcells. On August 17 David, Miriam, and Suzanne Ector, Drew Weir, and I left the Johnson’s Landing road near Salisbury Creek, at 1900 feet, and ascended northeastward 2½ miles through thick forest. We reached the first hump (“The Gums”, 7500 feet) on the Sawtooth Ridge, just above timberline, in about 6 hours. From here Drew and I climbed the firm limestone rock to the 7600-foot summit of the “Canine Tooth”, where we left a cairn and record (first recorded ascent). All of us also climbed a lower summit of the tooth. Nine days later I and a group of 9 students from a new Wilderness Course at Southwest Minnesota State College approached the Sawtooth Ridge from a 7200-foot highcamp 1½ miles southeast of the mountain. The entire group ascended the first eastern hump (the 7500-foot “Wisdom Tooth”). From here J. Konradi, S. Kragh, S. Scott, and I climbed west over the excellent third and fourth-class rock of 7700-foot “Second Molar”, 7700-foot “First Molar”, and both precarious points of 7650-foot “Biscuspid”, the tooth next to the “Canine Tooth”. We built large cairns and left our records (first recorded ascents) on all the summits, and returned to the “Wisdom Tooth” after 2½ hours total time.


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