American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Mount Dennis, Northwest Face, and Other Ice Climbs

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1981

Mount Dennis, Northwest Face, and Other Ice Climbs. At the end of March, Peter Monkkonen and I set up camp under Weeping Wall and from there did four day-climbs on ice. These climbs were in the finest Scottish tradition, with midday starts and midnight descents: Weeping Wall, Polar Circus (first four icefalls), Distant Blue, and the Northwest Face of Mount Dennis. The most arduous of these was Dennis whose first two icefalls had already yielded to Spring warmth and had to be bypassed to the left with mixed climbing. Above, an upended ocean of ice was still intact. Countless pitches later, well after dark, we finally started down through the woods to the right by bushwhacking and rappelling while continuous spindrift avalanches created a moonlight maelstrom over our ascent route. The most pleasant climb was Distant Blue which we espied from the Icefield Highway. Distant Blue is a terraced curtain of ice two miles up the Beauty River on the north wall of Tangle Ridge. An accursed approach on snowshoes was followed by four aesthetic, vertical pitches and a light-hearted descent back to the highway.

Richard Loren Doege

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