American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Canadian Coast Range, Mount Washington Area

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1982

Mount Waddington Area. In July, 1980, Chris LaRocca and I failed in an attempt to climb Mount Waddington. We did enjoy success on nearby Mounts Argiewicz, Dragonback (“Shand”), and Claw Peak. In July, 1981, we returned with Gus Benner and Joe Davidson. We reached Waddington’s summit via the southeast face. LaRocca and I climbed Bravo Peak. As a group we climbed Heartstone via the west face and descended via a gully to the east; both routes may be new. We also climbed Dentiform. Davidson and Benner climbed Tellot and Dragon-back. Finally Benner and I reached the top of the rock spire on Serra III, apparently making the fifth ascent of the true summit. A few comments might help other climbers in this area: 1. Late July provided excellent weather in both years. Although a little rain or snow fell on most days, climbing was possible nearly every day. 2. We used the helicopter of White Saddle Air Services Ltd. (Tatla Lake, B.C., Canada, VOL 1VO) on both trips. Pilot Mike King knows the area thoroughly. 3. To get from the Bravo Glacier to Bravo Col we found it easiest to attack the final bergschrund and headwall as directly as possible. The ridge to the south, an alternative described in Culbert’s old guidebook, is very rotten and more difficult. 4. Climbing from a high camp below the Tooth, rather than from Bravo Col, is much easier. 5. The new Canadian 1:50,000 series map, Mount Waddington 92N/6, contains a few errors. As best we can tell, the peak just to the west of Cataract Col is Dragonback. This peak has a ridge going east to the col which looks like the back of a dragon. The summit register left by the first ascent party calls it Dragonback. The map labels this Mount Shand. The peak just to the west of this is called Mount McCormick on the map and also in a photo facing page 31 of the A.A.J., April 1948. If you stand to the south of this peak you can see the profile of an eagle’s head on the eastern summit. Thus Mount McCormick is really Eagle-head. Dick Culbert noted this confusion on page 395 of his 1968 supplement to the Coast Range guidebook. I do not know what the correct names are for the peaks which are wrongly labeled Eaglehead and Dragonback on the new map. This situation is further confused in that the 1964 sketch map of the area by R. Woodsworth completely omits these summits.

Peter Cummings

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