American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Combatant, Coast Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Combatant, Coast Range. Mount Combatant’s 4500-foot south pillar rises from the Tiedemann Glacier, next to Waddington. This big wall of excellent granite had been tried only once, in 1992 by Greg Collum and Andy Selters. In the fall of 1994, Collum returned with Steve Masceoli and me to make its first ascent. On August 23, we were helicoptered to near the foot of the wall. After ascending an icefall and climbing 16 rock pitches up to 5.11 and A3+ on Yosemite-like granite, we stood on the top of the first of three towers that adorn the buttress. That section had taken us four days. Then came two days of shuttling four loads along a knife-edged ridge, along which precariously balanced blocks presented real hazards. Tyroleans were set up to move equipment along this section, which was the main objective danger of the route. We reached a talus ledge at the end of the ridge in a minor storm, where we rested on the seventh day. We climbed the final tower to the main summit on the eighth day on clean granite and with exposed 5.10+ face climbing. After scrambling to the summit at five P.M., we radioed White Air Services to arrange a helicopter pickup for August 31 on the col between Combatant and Waddington, 2000 feet below. We rappelled into the night to the talus ledge and then spent Day Nine descending to the pickup point.

Greg Child

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