North America, United States, Alaska, Mount Vancouver, Southeast Ridge

Publication Year: 1980.

Mount Vancouver, Southeast Ridge. Brian White, Brent Ash, Robert McLaren, A1 Richardson, David Timwell and I as leader climbed Vancouver’s southeast ridge from June 1 to July 1. From Base Camp at 7000 feet we made easy progress to 10,000 feet. We ferried loads to Camp I for the assault on the headwall part of the ridge, which presented more problems than anticipated. The ridge was heavily corniced and we were forced onto the very steep side slopes, where three feet of depth hoar underlay an unstable top layer. It took us six days to progress very slowly up this section; two cornices broke and plunged 1000 feet, both nearly taking us with them. At last we surmounted this portion and continued up the 2500 feet of steep ridge to Camp III. From there a two-mile trudge across unstable snowfields brought us to Camp IV at 15,000 feet. We made a summit push from Camp IV, but high winds and zero F. temperatures made us turn back 700 feet below the summit of Good Neighbor Peak. We had actually joined an already existing route by then. We returned to Camp II and the next day to Base Camp, where we waited four days for our helicopter.

Roger Griffiths, Capilano College, North Vancouver, B.C.