American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, North Baird Glacier and Ratz Peak Area

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1975

North Baird Glacier and Ratz Peak Area. Six Canadians, Roger Neave, Franz Bislin, Bill Perry, Mike Walsh, Bob Tustin and I, explored the North Baird Glacier on the Stikine Icecap to Boundary Peak 73 and crossed over to the south arm of the Dawes Glacier and approached the Noel-Mussel and Ratz area with the intention of climbing Mount Noel (10,040 feet). We were in the area at the end of July and early August for 16 days but were plagued with very bad weather. A satisfactory route to cross from the North Baird Glacier to the Dawes Glacier was found over a pass of 7000 feet. Later the two peaks on to the north and south of the pass were climbed, the southerly one being marked as 8030 feet, tentatively called “Rambler Peak,” on the Sumdum (B-2) quadrangle, and the northerly peak marked at 8012 feet. Both were first ascents. The advance camp was at the bottom of the southwest ridge of Mount Noel, which proved to be a fine route to approximately 8500 feet. From that point, the ridge became very broken and the icy conditions on the rock slowed us down. Another route was selected to follow the glacier immediately to the east of that ridge which leads up between the summits of Noel, but bad weather prevented a second attempt and the food ran out before the weather cleared again, forcing us to retreat back to the North Baird Glacier. On return we divided, and Neave, Perry, Trustin and I made an ascent of a peak immediately to the northwest of Boundary Peak 73 at 8200 feet and approximately one-half a mile from Boundary Peak 73, on the same ridge. Bislin and Walsh climbed a prominent peak on the southwest of Boundary Peak 73 and approximately five miles distant, marked on the same map as 8140 feet. Both ascents were first ascents. We then returned to Thomas Bay on skis. Altogether we only had five days suitable for climbing out of 16, two of which were consumed in packing out. Skis were used and found to be invaluable.

Ralph Hutchinson, Canadian Alpine Club

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