AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Steele, East-Southeast Ridge

Mount Steele, East-Southeast Ridge. The long, but not difficult, east- southeast ridge of Mount Steele had been climbed before. We had hoped to repeat the 1937 Washbum-Bates route. Because of a less-than-average snowfall, our pilot, Andy Williams, had to land us about 40 miles from where we were scheduled to land, namely on the Walsh Glacier near Walsh Col. We skied to the west down the Walsh Glacier to its junction with the Dennis Glacier. The first six days were spent with heavy packs and sleds to cover the 40 miles we had hoped to fly. The time delay and an ice face at 9500 feet above the Dennis Glacier made us change our plans. From camp below the ice face, we spotted a 3000-foot subsidiary ridge which led to the long east-southeast ridge. We got to the ridge at 12,000 feet, still almost nine miles from Steeleā€™s 16,664-foot summit. Our high camp was at 13,500 feet. After eleven hours on May 16, Steve Brejc, Greg White and Pat Petersen reached the summit. Nancy Ritger was suffering from altitude sickness and so Andy Michaels and I turned back with her a few hundred feet from the top. We had a tremendous ski out to the head of the Kaskawulsh Glacier, where Andy Williams picked us up again.

Steven Young