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Mount Logan, Removal of Arctic Institute of North America Cache

Mount Logan, Removal of Arctic Institute of North America Cache. The Arctic Institute of North America decided in 1983 to remove its cache from what had been its 17,500-foot laboratory on Mount Logan. Anne Brearly, Mike Gillingham, Bob Saunders, Mike Sawyer, Jim Tanner and I were landed on May 13 on the Quintino Sella Glacier at 10,000 feet, just below the King Trench. After advancing to Camp II at 13,775 feet, by May 19 it became obvious that Brearly was suffering from the altitude. On the 21st we descended to Camp I at 10,900 feet to wait for the weather to clear so that a plane could fly in. It wasn’t until the 24th that the aircraft could land and take Brearly out. On May 26 we retraced our steps to Camp II, but again it stormed. On May 29 it cleared and we progressed up the icefall to 14,750 feet where we camped. After a tent was ripped to shreds in the wind, we dug a snow cave. The storm continued through May 31. June 2 saw us camped just below Prospector’s Col at 17,000 feet and on the following day we got over the col and to the cache. After one flight on June 5, which could barely take off because of wind, in order to evacuate equipment, high winds and cold temperatures continued through the next day. With no sign of let-up on June 7, we headed for the north peak. After the successful climb, Gillingham showed continuing signs of altitude problems. June 8 was clear and windless. As soon as the plane landed, the generator was wrestled aboard, along with light, bulky equipment and Gillingham and his gear. The aircraft returned after lunch and the final load put on board. We left camp early on June 9 and climbed to the summit of Logan. Back at the cache we found an American group, one of whom was suffering severe mountain sickness. A summoned plane took off but the weather closed in again. The sick man managed to get down to 17,000 feet for the night. The next day we all descended to the Quintino Sella Glacier, from which all were eventually flown out.

Christopher Shanks, Arctic Institute of North America