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

North America, Canada, Kluane National Park Reserve, Mt. Alverstone, West Face, Pugilist at Rest and the Wilford Couloir

Mt. Alverstone, West Face, Pugilist at Rest and The Wilford Couloir. In May, Barry Blanchard and I set out to climb the west face of Mt. Alverstone. After flying in with Gulf Air to the Hubbard Glacier, we set up Base Camp. A few days later (approximately May 10), we started up Alverstone. The climbing turned out to be a little less technical than we’d hoped for. We established a bivy approximately 2,500 feet up the climb. The next day we followed a gully system up to the summit ridge, where we encountered a whiteout. We pushed a few hundred feet more along the summit ridge, then turned back in poor conditions. We had climbed the face, but had not continued to the summit.

A week later, we set out for a rock pillar on a ridge line that comes off the northwest side of Alverstone. The pillar looks somewhat like the Gervasutti Pillar in France. We started up the obvious main corner/buttress system and found excellent rock and mixed conditions. At mid-height, we bivied. The next day, we started with hard rock and mixed ground, then the terrain turned more mixed than ice. At the summit, weather conditions worsened and we descended in high winds to an open bivy at the base of the climb. We called the route Pugilist at Rest (5.10 A3 M5, 3,000').

A week later, we went back to this same formation, which we called “Point Blanchard,” and climbed the couloir just to the left of our previous climb. This line was a bit easier but had excellent Grade V water ice in it. We managed this climb, the Wilford Couloir (5.9 M4 WI5, 2,700') in one push. Generally, the rock was good in this area.

Mark Wilford, unaffiliated