Complete Slesse Massif Traverse
Canada, British Columbia, North Cascades
At the end of August, Nick Elson and Julian Stoddart (Canada) did a one-day car-to-car traverse of the Slesse Mountain group, from south to north, completing a linkup that may first have been attempted by Coast Mountains legend Don Serl and Rob Nugent in 2006.
Elson and Stoddart began at 4:45 a.m. on August 29 and started climbing with the south ridge of Labour Day Horn, then continued over Peak 5 (Station D), Peak 4, and Peak 3. They rappeled off Peak 3, then simul-climbed to Slesse’s South Peak (the crux of the traverse, with some off-route climbing on bad rock) and rappelled off the far side, before climbing the west side of the main summit. After negotiating the Crossover descent route, they were back at their truck 15 hours after leaving.
Just one day earlier, Jenn Carter and Wayne Wallace (both USA) finished a nearly complete traverse of the same group over three days, starting with the northeast buttress of Labour Day Horn. They bivouacked on this summit and on the top of Slesse before descending, having tagged all but Slesse’s South Peak, which they bypassed on the west side.
– Dougald MacDonald, with information from Julian Stoddart and Wayne Wallace