American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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New Routes on Killabuk, Ozymandias, Owl Pillar, Enosiagit

Canada, Canadian Arctic, Baffin Island

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Gregory Strange
  • Climb Year: 1978
  • Publication Year: 1979

Ten members of the Etchachan Mountaineering Club spent July in the Cumberland Mountains. Despite a late spring and “the worst weather in 20 years,” we managed to do some climbing between prolonged periods of bad weather. We climbed the following.

Killabuk: Ian Dailey, Mike Freeman, Guy Muhlemann, John Moreland and Dave Nichols on July 7 climbed the east face, taking a line slightly left of the Hennek-Scott route to the obvious snow bay. Here they climbed the headwall on the left. 3500 feet. Mostly F6 and F7 with one pitch on the headwall of F8.

Ozymandias (Ref 240060) : We spent ten days camped below the magnificent twin buttresses of Ozymandias on the bend of Owl Valley. The formidable right buttress seemed to offer only one line of weakness, the left edge. A foray on the first 300 feet confirmed that bolts and a certain amount of aid would be required. We found evidence of a previous attempt on this tremendous line. On July 14 and 18 Nichols and I climbed the more slabby left buttress on two separate days, taking a line towards the left flank. We ascended 1500 feet of sustained slabs (F6 to F8) to a large platform below the headwall, which we climbed by a prominent open groove, which turned out to be relatively straightforward. The left and right buttresses are flanked by two subsidiary buttresses, the Left and Right Arms. John and Alison Higham climbed the Left Arm (1500 feet, F6) on July 14; Muhlemann, Moreland, Freeman and J. Higham took the obvious right-hand chimney to reach the crest and climbed the Right Arm on July 18. 2000 feet. F7.

Peak X (Ref 150110, c. 6600 feet): This, the highest point between the Highway Glacier and Owl Valley was climbed by Dailey and Freeman on July 14. The ascent was made via the large glacier left of Ozymandias and the easy east ridge.

Owl Pillar (Ref 180980) : We thus named the prominent spur topped by a 1000-foot pillar, situated about three miles down from and on the same side of Owl Valley as the Rundle Glacier. The Pillar was climbed to within 200 feet of its snowcap before a storm forced a retreat. The lower spur was mostly scrambling but the pillar provided excellent free climbing up to F9.

Enosiagit (Ref 995010) : During our last week in the area, Freeman, Steve Bateson, Bill McKerrow and I camped in this magnificent setting with the west faces of Friga and Asgard and the south face of Loki all within a few miles. The poor weather caused us frustration, but one day we climbed the isolated peak northeast of Loki by a southwest spur (the third spur from the left), which led directly to the summit. 4000 feet. Not sustained but some pitches of F6 and F7.

– Gregory Strange, Etchachan Mountaineering Club, Aberdeen, Scotland

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