American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Rockies, Mounts Outram and Erasmus, North Faces

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1988

Mounts Outram and Erasmus, North Faces. Tom Thomas and I ascended the Glacier Lake Trail, fording the river just downstream from the lake. An excellent goat trail led us to timberline and we followed the main north ridge extending from the east shoulder of Mount Outram to Glacier Lake. We camped at 7800 feet below the main ice chute on the north face. The route ascended this 55° ice for 1000 feet to a rocky section. About five pitches of solid rock and ice up the leftmost of two main couloirs in the band brought us to the summit of Mount Outram on September 5. We descended the east ridge. By bushwhacking and following game trails from the Glacier Lake Trail, we made our way up the Valley of Lakes to below the north cirque of Mount Erasmus. We climbed the main couloir for 1000 feet to a rock chimney. Three pitches of rotten rock followed: 1. a rock chimney to a sloping rock in the gully; 2. a wall angling up and right; 3. a traverse back left and up the main chimney to the upper ice. There were 12 pitches of 50° to 70° ice to the summit of Mount Erasmus. We skirted left on the face near the summit and bivouacked in an ice cave just below the lip of the summit. An early morning start up an ice chimney popped us onto the summit snow slopes on September 13. An eight-hour descent via the west side and skirting back around to the north cirque brought us back to our camp. The grade V ascent took us 14 hours from camp to the bivouac and two hours from the cave to the summit.

Gil McCormick*, Unaffiliated

*Recipient of an American Alpine Club Mountaineering Fellowship Grant.

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