American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Hubbard, Weisshorn and Other Peaks

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year: N/A
  • Publication Year: 1977

Our expedition, consisting of Andreas Brun, Adrian Bühler, Heidi Lüdi and me as leader, was in the eastern St. Elias Mountains from May 12 to June 15. We were flown in from Haines Junction by helicopter. We had hoped to be flown to the Alverstone Glacier at the start, but bad weather prevented that. Our first Base Camp was at Windy Corner between the Lowell and South Lowell Glaciers. From there Brun, Lüdi and I climbed via the northeast ridge a 7000-foot peak south of the corner on May 12. Two days later Bühler and Lüdi climbed the 7500-foot peak west of the corner via the east ridge. We were transferred by helicopter on May 16 to 6000 feet halfway up the Cathedral Glacier. We placed a high camp at about 10,000 feet in the basin south of the Weisshorn. On May 18 all four made the first ascents of the Weisshorn (11,620 feet) by its southeast ridge and of its slightly lower southern neighbor by the northeast face and ridge; the Kluane Lake National Park Service now calls this peak “Mount Poland” in memory of the Poles who lost their lives there in 1974. We moved camp up the Cathedral Glacier to 8500 feet and from there all four of us climbed the normal route on Mount Kennedy (13,905 feet) on May 24 and on Mount Hubbard (15,015 feet) on May 26. On May 29 we all climbed a peak (60°12'27" N, 138°59'30" W) southwest of our 6000-foot Base Camp by its east-northeast ridge. On May 30 and June 1 we failed on the southwest ridge at 8550 feet of the peak three miles southeast of the Weisshorn. On June 1 Lüdi and I climbed a peak on the southern edge of the glacier that descends from P 9120 by its north slope. We continued along the ridge to the southeast over the two summits of the next mountain before descending along the route we had taken on our climb of May 29. On June 3 a helicopter flew us to camp on the Alverstone Glacier, our original objective. On June 5 and 6 all four made the first ascent of the northernmost of the western ridges of Mount Hubbard alpine-style with a bivouac. Twice we tried to climb the west ridge of Alverstone. The second attempt failed at 11,600 feet in deep snow. It had snowed some 30 hours between the attempts. On June 14 Lüdi soloed P 9235, which lies 3½ miles west of Hubbard. We were flown out by helicopter on June 15.

Chlaus Lötscher, Akademischer Alpenclub Bern, Switzerland

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