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North America, Canada, Canadian Rockies, Peaks near the Freshfield Icefield

Peaks near the Freshfield Icefield. In August, I spent 16 days alone in the region just west and south of the Freshfield Icefield. Approaching from the east, I hiked for two days to Bush Pass, descended into the headwaters of the Valenciennes River and then followed a south tributary upstream to the Campbell Icefield. I scrambled up Mount Alan Campbell, hoping to claim a first ascent but I found a cairn on top. The next day I found an enjoyable third-class route up the southwest face of Mount Freshfield and had time to slog over to Mount Dent. Then I crossed the Campbell Icefield to camp near Waitabit Lake. I climbed Mount Barnard by a new but not recommended route, the south buttress; it was long, difficult for an unroped climber and very loose. On the descent I passed over the summit of Waitabit Peak and Mount Trutch. The next day I scrambled east over the saddle into the cirque west of Mount Mummery and found a thousand feet of fine climbing on quite solid rock leading out of the cirque to a high point on the rim (9800 feet). From there I climbed Nanga Parbat via the southeast ridge and went across the upper Freshfield Glacier to Mount Trutch, which I climbed via a 50° ice face on the right end of the northeast face. I then went down the west side to reach the same couloir I had descended the day before. I then climbed unnamed P 10,120, a mile southwest of Mount Mummery, which I would like to name in memory of Chuck Loucks. To my surprise I was able to piece together a reasonable line on the west face of Mummery by following various snow and ice gullies directly below the south summit. I set my sights on an even more improbable line on the north face of Mount Laussedat. The approach on gravel bars in Waitabit Creek was easy but bushwhacking to camp below the mountain was agonizing. I spent seven hours exploring various routes on the left side of the face before I found a ledge leading left from the steep ice slope to a trough which led up through the steepest section. There was rockfall. I descended the northwest ridge, also unclimbed, I believe.

Dane Waterman