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North America, Canada, Canadian Arctic—Baffin Island, Ayr Lake

Ayr Lake. The Alpine Club of Canada held an Alpine Climbing Camp of 14 people on Ayr Lake, about 40 kilometers west of Clyde River on the northeast coast of Baffin Island, from May 4 to 25. We had seen the area in 1973 and 1977 on our flights to Swiss Bay (C.A.J., 1974, 57, p. 23; A.A.J., 1974, p. 158) and to Stewart Valley (C.A.J., 1978, 61, p. 51; A.A.J., 1978, p. 552). The invitation from the A.C.C. seemed a good opportunity to explore the mountains, which had never been visited by climbers before. To help reduce the problems and uncertainties of access that we had experienced in earlier years, and to help gain access to the bottom of the climbs from Base Camp, we made two 16-foot komatics (Eskimo sleds) and shipped them to Clyde River with two Skidoos. We hired several more with drivers in Clyde River and used them all for transport to Ayr Lake and return. The Base Camp was at the foot of the glacier designated as H106 on the Glacier Atlas of Canada, at location DJ477016 of N.T.S. sheet 27F. Two ascents were made of Mount Wordie, the only named mountain in the area, one from the west by Frame, McMullen, Reader, and me, and one from the northeast by Frame and Reader. The unnamed 5000-foot mountain immediately southwest of Wordie was also climbed from the east by Allen, Creore, and Maydell. Most of the mountains on both sides of the lake near Base Camp were climbed, some several times, and the third ascent of Eglinton Tower, the first in which the south ridge was reached from the west, was made by McMullen. The prominent 5000-foot mountain southwest of the end of Eglinton Fiord at location DJ383155 was climbed by Babicki and Haring from a camp in the valley running south from the end of Eglinton Fiord by Glacier G58 and the south ridge of the mountain. In all, about 40 peaks and summits of varying degrees of difficulty were reached for the first time. A full report will appear in the Canadian Alpine Journal for 1980. The members of the party were: Fran Allen, Ted Anderson, Matt Babicki, Rod Blais, Jo-Ann Creore, Mike Frame, Klaus Haring, John Leedale, Paul Martinson, Ursula Maydell, Dave McMullen, Kevin O’Connell, Roly Reader, and Ted Whalley.

Ted Whalley, Alpine Club of Canada