American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Arctic, Victoria and Albert Mountains, Ellesmere Island

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

Victoria and Albert Mountains, Ellesmere Island. Dave Adams, Brad Albro, Steve Trafton, Al Errington, Bill Davis, Martin Waller and I spent four weeks in May and June climbing and exploring on Ellesmere Island. We flew by commercial jet from Vancouver, B.C. to Resolute Bay and then boarded a chartered ski-mounted twin-engine Otter, which flew us to the Mer de Glace Agassiz Glacier in the Victoria and Albert Mountains at 80° 12' N., 76° 50' W., 1040 miles north of the Arctic Circle and 740 miles south of the North Pole.. Beginning on May 17, we each hauled sleds, weighing 175 pounds at the start on nordic skis for transport of food and equipment. We made the first ascent of 17 peaks between 6000 and 8000 feet in this unclimbed and largely unexplored area of Ellesmere Island. In all, we established five climbing camps as we ski-traversed in a generally eastern direction. Most of the climbs involved ascents of ice ridges and ridge flanks. Finally, on May 30, we turned our sleds to the north and descended the d’Iberville Glacier to Ellesmere’s western shore. The five-day descent proved, at times, to be very difficult due to severe, insidious crevassing. The sea was reached on June 3.

Donald Goodman

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