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North America, Canada, Coast Range, Ottarosko, Nuit Range

Ottarosko, Nuit Range, Coast Mountains. Ottarosko, a 10,000-foot massif near the northern end of the Nuit Range, east of Waddington, is featured by a large, cascading northern glacier and a long, serrated southern ridge. Its most striking aspect is the steep western ice face—a narrow, fluted slope that broadens and flattens into a small valley glacier draining into Nude Creek. In September Jim Nelson, Greg Collum, Bill Pilling and I flew to the outwash flat below the glacier by helicopter, then made an interim bivouac on the glacier edge near the second icefall. Our plan, to climb the main slope of the ice face, was enhanced by a recent snowfall that provided solid surface conditions atop the blue glare ice. Once across the bergschrund, the route went directly upward, in its higher portions requiring ice-screw placement for safety. The final portion of the climb followed the rocky south ridge, where two fifth-class pitches provided a few exposed problems. Descent was made by the west ridge and departure from the area by way of the pass leading to Ottarosko Creek, then following its valley to Tatlayoko Lake.

Fred Beckey