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

North America, Canada, Yukon Territory, Mount Steele

Mount Steele. In June, Bertrand Poinsonnet, James Larabee, Steve Tyler and I repeated the 1937 Washburn-Bates route which leads from the Dennis Glacier to the broad ridge between Steele and Lucania. We skied 13 kilometers from our landing east of the peak, establishing at 10,200 feet a camp below the route, which is essentially a rib of ice of moderate to low angle on the south side of Steele. After putting in camps at 12,200 and 14,200 feet, we were easily able to climb Steele. We then put a camp below Lucania’s northwest face, hoping to finish our objective the next day. After five days of poor weather, we left without much of an attempt. During correspondence with Brad Washburn, I became aware of confusion about the 1937 route. A much-used Canadian map, commemorating the centennial, shows several routes. It is in error, marking the south-southeast ridge as the Washbum-Bates route. That ridge leads directly to the summit of Steele. The original route, more to the south, does not. It is possible, due to the map, that the Washbum-Bates route had not been repeated for 55 years.

Willy Hersman