American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Peak 11,700', Southwest Ridge

North America, Canada, St. Elias Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Jeb Schenck
  • Climb Year: 1998
  • Publication Year: 1999

After an injury in our party halted our attempt at the standard King Trench route on Mt. Logan, Morgan Lakey and I turned our frustrations to a pyramidal rock and snow peak five kilometers northwest of the standard Base Camp on the Quitino Sella Glacier. The top 100 meters of the peak is just visible over a ridge to the immediate west of Base Camp. With three days’ food, we skied over to the south face and examined a series of interesting rock ridges and couloirs. The most inviting ran continuously from the foot to the summit on the southeast face but started avalanching when we arrived. We selected a long couloir that gained the southwest ridge about mid-way up, then waded, ploughed and scrambled up to the ridge. The southwest ridge was hard-packed snow with gently undulating cornices that made for excellent climbing. On June 8, after five-and-a-half hours from our camp at the foot of the mountain, Lakey and I topped out in a nearly total whiteout, which spoiled what should have been a tremendous view of Mt. Logan. The summit was recognized by key rocks we had noted from below and the fact that it was downhill in all directions. Upon return to the Logan Base Camp, discussions with Paul Claus, climber/pilot for Ultima Thule, indicated that he may have climbed the same peak by possibly the same ridge a few years earlier. Although the maps suggest an elevation of about 11,700+ feet, the local pilots distrust the figures, believing it to be higher.

Jeb Schenck, unaffiliated

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