American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Interior Ranges, Mount Lady Macbeth, Macbeth Group, Purcells

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

Mount Lady Macbeth, Macbeth Group, Purcells. Taking advantage of a break in the rainy weather, my wife Gretchen and I drove 9½ miles up the improved logging road along the north side of Glacier Creek on July 31. Leaving the car at about 3700 feet we climbed northward for two hours along “Dunsinane Creek”, which drains the south slopes of Mount Macbeth. An afternoon rain stopped us at the beginning of the thick greenslide at about 5500 feet, so we decided to set up camp. The next morning dawned promisingly enough so we set out through the lush maze of willows, alders, streamlets, and meadows for the 8500-foot notch in the ridge between Mounts Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In 2½ hours we reached the talus slides in the upper basin. In another 2 hours we had ascended the upper snowfields and the steep, snow-filled couloir to the notch. The short but enjoyable climb out of the notch to the 8600-foot bump to the southeast involved one short fourth-class pitch on the west side of the ridge. From this point we scrambled and climbed over the delightful third- and fourth-class firm rock of the northwest ridge, encountering one delicate fourth-class lead around the prominent step in the upper ridge. Crossing a summit snow ridge, we gained the most easterly point (9480 feet) of the summit in 2½ hours from the notch. Here we built a cairn and left our first-ascent record, then descended to the notch via the northwest ledges in 2 hours. We returned to camp 2½ hours later just before darkness and more light rain. The next morning skies cleared and we descended to the car in 1½ hours.

Curt Wagner

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