American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Peaks in the Upper Donjek Glacier Area, St. Elias Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

Peaks in the Upper Donjek Glacier Area, St. Elias Mountains. In June and July, 13 members of the Toronto Section of the Alpine Club of Canada enjoyed 16 days of continuously perfect weather amid the mountains that surround the upper Donjek Glacier. These peaks, ranging from 3300 to 3700 meters, form the divides between the Kluane, Kaskawulsh, Hubbard and Donjek Glaciers. Previous mountaineering was limited to brief forays by the Arctic Institute of North America (AINA), its predecessor, the Icefield Ranges Research Project (IRRP) and Parks Canada personnel, whose ascents are noted below. We placed Base Camp at 2800 meters on the Donjek Glacier. We climbed 17 peaks, 14 of them first ascents and the other three by new routes. Some of the peaks involved excellent mountaineering. The northwest ridge of Donjek Mountain, Mount Badham’s east face, the north and east ridges of P 3658, the northeast ridge of P 3580 and the southeast ridge of P 3660 were especially attractive. These ascents had interesting approaches, involving technical climbing, to reach the ridges, which themselves required thoughtful work so that the climbs did not deteriorate into “epics.” There are many challenging ridges for future parties. Our party consisted of Paul Geddes (PG), Don Hamilton (DH), Willa Harasym (WH), Yan Huckendubier (YH), Wally Joyce (WJ), Mark McDermott (MM), Bill McKenzie (BM), Gary Norton (GN), Joe Piccininni (JP), Glynis Peters (GP), Rob Rick (RR), Ted Rosen (TR) and Roger Wallis (RW). We and our predecessors made the following ascents, all of which were firsts except where noted: Mount Badham (3670 meters), first ascent on July 24, 1972 via southwest ridge by Gary Gray, Gail Ashley, Joe LaBelle; second ascent in May, 1988 by a Parks Canada party including Lloyd Freese and Andrew Lawrence via north ridge from the col with P 3390, gained from the east; third ascent on June 28 via Parks Canada route by PG, WH, TR, GN; fourth ascent on July 3 by a new route, the east face and southeast ridge by BM, RW, YH, GP; fifth ascent on July 3 via Parks Canada route by RR, MM, JP; P 3395 on July 9 via southeast ice face by BM, RR, YH, GP; P 3330 on June 28 via south ridge by RW, DH, WJ, BM, YH, GP, RR, JP, MM;P 3420 on June 27 via northwest ridge by TR, GN, PG, RW; second ascent on June 30 via same route by YH, GP, WJ, RR, MM, JP; P 3530 in 1964 from IRRP station at 8400 feet on the Kaskawulsh-Hubbard divide by the long south ridge that joins the northeast ridge at about 10,000 feet by Gerald Holdsworth, Fred Erdmann; second ascent on July 10, 1972 via west ridge by Ashley, Gray, LaBelle, Denis Soloman, Susan Krieckhaus; third ascent on July 4 via north approach to east ridge by RW, DH; fourth, fifth and sixth ascents on July 5,6 and 8 via the same route by PG, WH, BM; TR, GN; and GP, YH, RR; P 3380 on July 8 via north approach to southwest ridge by WJ, DH,GP, YH, RR;P 3300 on July 3 via northwest ridge by GN, TR; Donjek Mountain (3580 meters), first ascent in mid-August, 1965 from IRRP station on the Kaskawulsh-Hubbard divide via southern approach to east ridge by Takeo and Kikuko Yoshino; second ascent on July 21, 1966 from IRRP camp to central south rib by David Bittenbinder, Donald Stockard, David Johnston; third ascent on June 30 via northwest ridge by RW, BM; fourth and fifth ascents on July 1 and 5 via same route by PG, WH; and TR, GP, YH, RR, JP, MM; P 3540 on July 6 via northwest ridge by PG; P 3510 on July 2 via north ridge by YH, GP; P3530 on July 4 via east ridge by TR, GN; P 3570 on July 1 via south slope and east ridge by GN, TR; P 3658 on July 1 via east ridge from P 3570 by GN, TR; second ascent on July 8 via north ridge gained from west by BM, PG, RW; P 3580 on July 6 via northeast ridge gained from east by BM, PG, RW; P 3140 on July 7 via southwest slope and south ridge by WH, PG, WJ, GP, YH, TR; second ascent on July 7 via northeast ridge gained from east by RW, JP;P 3400 on July 2 via a rib on the south slope by BM, PG, WH; P 3660 on July 2 via southeast ridge from P 3400 by BM, PG.

Roger Wallis, Alpine Club of Canada

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