American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Mount MacDonald, West Face

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Mount MacDonald, West Face. Most imaginations are caught by MacDonald’s imposing north face, the bastion of Rogers Pass, leaving the retiring west face to the less ambitious. Our approach to the west face was the MacDonald Couloir, which, in the early season, would have bridged over Bear Creek. Earl Hamilton, Ian Carmichael and I were two weeks too late on July 27 and settled for a shaky log well upstream and two hours of bushwhacking to reach our snow slope, which rapidly brought us to the foot of the face. This solid gray quartzite face has three prominent buttresses or ribs. The 1500-foot northernmost (left) rib seemed feasible and we climbed much of it unroped in spite of exposure. Three fifth-class pitches on the upper third of the buttress led to a final 300-foot wall, which we avoided by moving right to the top of the center buttress. NCCS II, F6.

John Bousman

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