American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Avalanche, Frostbite — Yukon Territory, Saint Elias Range, Mount Logan

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1983

AVALANCHE, FROSTBITE

Yukon Territory, Saint Elias Range, Mount Logan

A party of seven climbers from Colorado was attempting an unclimbed north ridge of Mount Logan. About 11 a.m. on June 11, 1982, their camp at about 15,500 feet was struck by an avalanche. Two members of the party, who were outside their tents when the avalanche struck, were swept about 200 feet below the camp. They climbed back to the campsite and were able to dig out two other members of the party. These four then dug for the remaining climbers, using their hands and whatever tools were available. After another two hours, they discovered the body of one other climber. Throughout their search, they had found no air pockets or signs of life and, at that point, decided to see to their own survival as it was storming and they needed shelter.

On June 12, another slide covered the area. On June 13, they were again able to excavate at the site to look for the radio which would assist in saving their lives. They managed to uncover the bodies of two members of the party and the radio. However, they never did discover the third body.

About 4 p.m. on June 13, as weather was again moving in, they packed up what gear they could and moved down to the point where they were eventually picked up around noon on June 16. Three of the surviving four climbers suffered some frostbite on their feet and hands. (Source: L. Freese, Kluane National Park)

Analysis

There is probably no way to avoid avalanche hazard on this route and it is not known whether a safer campsite could have been found. It was fortunate that these climbers had a radio and were able to obtain assistance. (Source: L. Freese, Kluane National Park)

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