AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mounts Macaulay, Wood, Slaggard, and Strickland

Mounts Macaulay, Wood, Slaggard, and Strickland. On May 19 John Foxall, David Hobill, Kevin O’Connell and I were flown by the Trans North Turbo Air’s jet-ranger helicopter from Burwash Landing to Base Camp at 9700 feet on the arm of the Anderson Glacier that drains the west side of Mount Wood. During the next two days we established Camp I at 11,300 feet between Macaulay and Slaggard. An original objective had been to traverse Mount Slaggard to gain the unclimbed peak of 14,000+ feet just to the south, but progress during the first two days, even with cross-country skis, taught us that this plan was overly ambitious. After two days of storm we established a second camp at 13,000 feet to the northwest of Macaulay above the main icefall. May 26 was cold but clear and we all ascended the easy but unclimbed northwest ridge of Macaulay (c. 15,300 feet) and descended the northeast ridge. The 27th was also fine and we ascended the southwest face of Mount Wood (15,885 feet) with some steep snow and some ice, emerging just to the right of the summit. We descended by the easier southwest ridge. After a return to Base Camp and a rest, we established a route to the western ridge of Mount Slaggard where a high camp was placed on May 31 despite misgivings about unstable snow on the steep north slope. The following day we all made the long and very tiring ascent of the northwest spur of Slaggard (c. 15,300 feet). June 2 saw us back at Base Camp with 18 inches of new snow. On June 3 we reconnoitered part of the route up Mount Strickland by gaining the south-sloping knife- edged ridge immediately north of Base Camp. On the following day the four of us followed this route to the broader southwest ridge and thence to the summit of Strickland (13,818 feet). We were flown out by helicopter on June 6. We believe that all the routes had not been previously climbed.

David J. Malcolm, Canadian Youth Hostels Association