American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Steele

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1991

Mount Steele. On June 20, Andy Williams airlifted Dave Custer, Paul Jenson, Peter Green and me onto the west fork of the Donjek Glacier at 2950 meters, south of Mount Walsh. Relaying loads during lulls in the generally stormy weather, we gained the north arm of Steele’s east-southeast ridge at 3800 meters. We continued over the 4300-meter peak on this long ridge and estab lished our sixth and final camp at 4000 meters after a total of 13 days. We spent a long summit day, reaching the summit at seven P.M. We were pleased with the relatively warm weather, the dearth of hidden crevasses, the complete solitude and the extraordinary quality of scenery viewed from the entire route. A pleasant hour on top was followed by a three-hour descent with ample light even at eleven P.M. After a rest day, we retraced our route in less than two days. We waited for five days at the col west of Walsh for skies clear enough for a pickup. The helicopter left with Peter Green, all our garbage and snow-and-cold-weather gear. With lightened loads, we continued the heinous descent down the con vulsed Spring Glacier to Spring Creek until it joined the Donjek. Walking along the Donjek was easy but we were unable to cross Steele Creek where it flows into the Donjek. We hiked 15 kilometers up to the Steele Glacier and crossed the creek where it issues from underneath the glacier. We reached the Alaska Highway in eight days from the col.

Dan Mazur, Sled Dog Club

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