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North America, Canada, Canadian Arctic, Virginia Glacier Expedition

Virginia Glacier Expedition. In 1967, the writer led the Cape Dyer Arctic-Alpine Expedition into an unexplored area of arctic mountains west of Cape Dyer on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island (see AAJ, CAJ, 1968). At that time we approached by boat with Eskimos from Broughton Island, traversed the valley of the “Southwind” Glacier, reaching Mount Raleigh at its head, climbed and named many of the major peaks, and exited across the Virginia Glacier to Sunneshine Fiord and Cape Dyer. In August 1977 we returned to the Virginia Glacier area, utilizing Avon inflatable dinghies to approach from Cape Dyer. First we completed a photographic survey for the Glacier Inventory of Canda for comparison with our 1967 data, then explored the valley of the Virginia Glacier to its head, climbing two peaks there, as well as Mount Gilbert (solo—P. Ritterbush) to the north for the first time. We then returned to the boats for a 80-mile journey southwest along the coast to locate two attractive mountains seen in that direction during a climb in 1967. After various problems we reached the head of Mermaid Fiord west of Totnes Road and went 10 miles inland to the west, penetrating this huge glaciated area for the first time. Ascents of P 5975 and its adjacent twin were accomplished and a new area for arctic trekkers and climbers opened up. (For details and map references see CAJ, 1978.) The party was D. Kerchof, P. Ritterbush, P. Rogers, L. Scotton and I. E. Streisinger and Anna Gerenday completed the same sea journey with kayaks.

George Van B. Cochran