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Antarctica, Mount Huggins, Royal Society Range, 1989

Mount Huggins, Royal Society Range, 1989. On December 19, 1989, Brenton Worley and I made the second ascent of Mount Huggins (3733 meters, 12,248 feet), the southernmost peak of the Royal Society Range in South Victoria Land. The first ascent had been made by New Zealanders Bernie Gunn and Richard Brooke, who climbed the other side of the mountain from the Polar Plateau in 1958. We left Base Camp at 1500 meters on the Pipecleaner Glacier on December 18 and skied up the Panorama Glacier to camp on a ridge between the Panorama and upper Pipecleaner Glaciers at 2000 meters. At 2:40 A.M. on the 19th, we set off for Huggins, traversing first to Auster Pass and then up the southeast ridge. The first 500 meters were relatively straightforward but a series of dolerite bluffs forced us onto the south face at 2800 meters, where soft snow on loose rock required much care. We climbed a system of broad gullies to the southeast shoulder. The rest of the route to the summit involved traverses around large blocks on the ridge. We reached the top at eleven A.M. Descent began down easier-angled western slopes toward the Polar Plateau and then down onto large snowfields on the south face, traversing back to the southeast ridge just above Auster Pass. We were back at our high camp at 5:40 P.M.

Simon Cox, New Zealand Antarctic Research Programme