American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Alaska, St. Elias Range, Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks and Preserve, Annual Mountaineering Report, 1995

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

Glacier Bay and Wrangell-St. Elias National Parks and Preserve, Annual Mountaineering Report, 1995. Fifteen known expeditions with a total of 57 people made attempts of peaks in the region starting from Yakutat. Only six expeditions and 25 people were successful. The season marked the first climbing deaths within a decade in this part of Alaska. In April, Phil Kaufmann of Seattle, Washington, Steve Carroll of South Hampton, New Hampshire, and Patrick Simmons of Seattle, Washington, successfully made the summit (confirmed via radio) of Mount Orville within Glacier Bay National Park. This is believed to be the first ascent. Tragedy struck on the descent. A storm struck shortly after they made the summit and a large amount of snow fell during the next 24 hours. At some point during the extremely steep descent the three, roped together, fell. The fall was probably due to the avalanche conditions.

Other expeditions within Glacier Bay National Park included an unsuccessful attempt of Mount Wilbur by Joe Lacky with a party of four. Jack, Dan, and Tom Bennett made a successful ascent via the West Ridge of Mount Fairweather. Two trips occurred within Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Bill Pilling and Walt Gove made an unsuccessful attempt on Mount Huxley. Jon Waterman and Jeff Hollenbaugh, both of Colorado, made an unsuccessful attempt on Mount St. Elias from the South Face. Their attempt started from Icy Bay with a trek over the Malaspina and Libbey Glaciers to the South Face. Silas Wild led a party of eight on successful attempts of Mount Vern Ritchie, Mount Duff and Mount Wade along the Alaska-British Columbian border east of Yakutat. Many climbers still do not check in with the National Park Service in Yakutat. Although this is not required, it is encouraged for information and emergency purposes.

Rick Mossman, Yakutat District Ranger

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.