Mt. Endeavor, Arête sans Chaussures and Peak 8,692', Dalestrom
North America, Canada, Coast Mountains
With the help of the McNeill-Nott and Mountain Fellowship grants, Blake Herrington and I spent ten days exploring peaks around the Scud Glacier of the Stikine Region in late July and early August. We flew 50 miles west from the Cassiar Highway to Yehiniko Lake and approached the Scud Glacier via the Quattrin Creek Valley. Somehow, through miscommunication at the dock and improper gear stowing, my climbing boots and trekking pole had disappeared mid-flight, leaving me with rock shoes and a decrepit pair of running shoes that I had found in my garage. With duct tape, some scavenged material, stiff insoles we cut from our pack frame, and several tubes of seam grip we crafted the omnishoes, which allowed me to attach crampons and even lead some steep ice. Our approach through the Quattrin Creek Valley required many waist- deep crossings and a healthy portion of bushwhacking. At the unnamed glacier at the head of Quattrin Creek we suffered another setback: our airdrop had exploded and cost us much of our food supply.
We planned to attempt the north ridge of Mt. Ambition. We climbed steep snow and ice through an icefall to the col between Mt. Ambition and Mt. Endeavor. From the col we climbed the first third of Ambitions north ridge but retreated in the face of horrible rock. After considerable difficulty finding solid anchors for our descent, we changed plans to the south ridge of Mt. Endeavor (9,300'). We climbed a couple of thousand feet up an icefall and then 2,200' of solid, moderate rock to the summit, establishing Arête sans Chaussures (4,000', D 5.6 AI-moderate). From the summit we had a long, loose, and sometimes tense descent along the southeast ridge through the building storm and back to our camp on the Scud Glacier.
After drying our gear we headed toward the west ridge of Peak 8,692', located west of the Quattrin- Scud col. From the base of a broad buttress at the base of the west ridge we climbed through shattered but mostly solid granite in four pitches to the ridge crest, then continued to the summit. We named our route Dalestrom (2,000', D 5.9), in homage of our unforgettable whirlwind of a bush pilot. We descended the east ridge to its base and completed a single rappel to the south back to the Scud Glacier.