American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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North America, Canada, North West Territories, Harrison Smith and Lotus Flower, Logan Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1994

Harrison Smith and Lotus Flower Tower, Logan Mountains. Paola Fanton, Giuseppe Bagattoli, Danny Zampiccoli, Fabio Leoni and I traveled north to Watson Lake and were flown by float plane on July 3 to Glacier Lake. Four hours on foot took us into the heart of these lovely mountains in the Cirque of the Unclimbables. Above us soared the north face of Harrison Smith. Despite other routes already climbed on the peak, there remained logical and beautiful new routes. We hoped to climb the north face of Harrison Smith alpine-style, but after several tries, we always returned drenched by rain to our advanced camp under a huge boulder. We decided to use fixed rope. The climbing was always of sustained difficulty with much moss that made placing protection hard. However, there was a line of cracks that let us progress rapidly. We frequently climbed in the rain and at strange hours, which are possible at that time of year in the North West Territories with 20 hours of daylight. Our line headed to a great dihedral which halfway up the wall led toward the summit up very difficult pitches. After twenty days we wondered if there ever was good weather in the region. However, July 25 dawned with splendid weather. All five of us were quickly at the top of the fixed ropes. At eleven A.M., we were above the great dihedral. We still had some very difficult pitches, a wet, overhanging crack and as a final surprise, one of the most terrifying off-width cracks of our careers where protection was impossible and into which we had to stuff inelegantly whatever parts of our bodies we could. At eight P.M., we were all on the summit. The 750-meter-high climb was rated 7+, A2. A few days later, another gorgeous day let Leoni with Fanton and Zampiccoli with Bagattoli repeat the lovely first-ascent route on the southeast face of the Lotus Flower Tower. This route is unique, especially in the second part which ascends slabs of very compact granite. Nine pitches on rock with tiny knobs make this almost a game, a very difficult and beautiful climb.

Mario Manicà, Club Alpino Italiano

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