In May 2002, Scott McLellan, Jocelyn Dufour and I attempted the East Ridge of
Mount Logan (5,959 m/19,551 ft), the highest peak in Canada.  To cut a long story short, we
managed to climb to where the East Ridge joins the summit plateau, but we didn't make it to the
summit itself.  For further details, read on.  (Click on any thumbnail image for a larger version.)

If you're wondering exactly where Mt. Logan is located, this map gives all the details.
Aerial photo of Mt. Logan showing our camps.

Original photo:  Bradford Wasburn collection, negative no. 8509, Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks

May 1: Scott, me and Jocelyn in front of our cabin at the Kluane Bed & Breakfast.  The weather was cloudy and windy when we arrived.  We had to wait four days until conditions improved enough to fly into the icefields.
May 4:  Scott and Jocelyn on the shores of Kluane Lake (still frozen).  The mountains in the background are the edge of the St. Elias range. Mt. Logan is about 100km from here.
May 4:  That evening the skies cleared and we had a nice sunset.

May 5:  Finally the weather was good enough to fly.  Here at the Kluane Lake airstrip are Scott, Jocelyn, Andy Williams (pilot) and Andy's faithful HelioCourier.
May 5:  Our first view of Mt. Logan. It's almost worthwhile travelling all this way just for the views from the flight.
May 5:  Coming in to land on the Hubbard Glacier at the foot of the East Ridge.  It's difficult to grasp just how big this mountain is – from the glacier to the summit there's over 3,800m in elevation gain.
May 5:  Andy, Scott and Jocelyn next to Andy's plane on the Hubbard Glacier.   The elevation here is about 2,150m.
May 5:  By early afternoon the glacier can get surprisingly warm.  Here's Jocelyn working on his suntan.
May 6:  We had all taken Diamox to help with acclimitization.  Diamox is also a powerful diuretic and I had to step out of the tent early the following morning.  It felt about -30°C but I was rewarded with this picture of the peak catching the first rays of the sun.
May 6: We loaded our gear  onto sleds and skied up to Advance Base Camp at the base of the East Ridge (2,450m).  In the afternoon we carried a load of food and fuel up to the ridge crest before returning to ABC for the night.
May 7:  Leaving our skis and sleds behind, we shouldered our packs and headed up the ridge to Camp 1.  This short 4th-class rock section is about the only rock we encountered on the climb.
May 7:  Further up the ridge on the way to Camp 1.  The shadowy figure in the middle of the rope is Jocelyn.
May 8:  Jocelyn inside the tent at Camp 1 (3,150m).
May 8:  Scott on the way down to retrieve the supplies we had cached earlier.  In the centre background is Mt. King George, and on the right in the far distance are Mts. Kennedy, Alverstone and Hubbard.
May 8:  Andy Frisbie and Ryan Stefiuk, two climbers from Vermont that we met on the ridge, setting out for Camp 2 in the late afternoon.  Soon afterwards they decided the snow was too soft and waited until early the following morning instead.
May 9: Scott (leading) and Jocelyn on the way up to Camp 2.  Up on the skyline is the start of the knife-edge ridge, the technical crux of the route.
May 9:  I don't have any photos of the knife-edge on the way up, because the weather came in and we climbed in a white-out.  (But see below for some photos on the way down.)  It was tough going – most of the time we had to crampon sideways across steep ice covered by just a few inches of snow.
May 10:  Scott and Jocelyn at Camp 2 (3,700m).  In the background is McArthur Peak and in the distance on the left is Mt. Walsh.  We'd climbed for 12 hours the previous day, so we decided to take a day off to rest and acclimatize.
May 10:  Another view from Camp 2.  In the background is Hubsew Peak and beyond it is Mt. Vancouver.
May 10:  Scott and Jocelyn in the tent at Camp 2.  Would you want to share a tent with these guys for three weeks?
May 12:  Jocelyn belaying Scott up a steep ice slope as we set out from Camp 3 to Camp 4.  I don't have any photos of the climb from Camp 2 to Camp 3 (3,820m) because once again we were caught in a white-out.
May 12:  Andy and Jocelyn taking a break at 4,200m on the way up to Camp 4.  The clouds had come in earlier and for a while we thought we might have to stop here, but then everything cleared up and we were able to continue.
May 12:  Andy just below the edge of the summit plateau, on the way up to Camp 4.  The lower part of the East Ridge is visible far below.
May 12:  Ryan (in front) and Andy nearing Camp 4 (4,775m) on the summit plateau.  In the background is McArthur Peak.
May 12:  Ryan arriving at Camp 4.  On the horizon to the left are Mts. Lucania and Steele, and to the right is Mt. Walsh.
May 12:  Scott, Andy and Jocelyn at Camp 4.  The snow here was so hard we could barely dig platforms for our tents.  On the horizon to the right is Mt. Vancouver.  Little did we know these would be the last good views we would get from here...
May 13 to 15:  All the technical difficulties were below us, and we were just a day's round trip from the summit, but the weather never gave us a chance.  We woke on May 13 to high winds and white-out conditions, and it stayed that way for the next three days and nights while we huddled in our tents.  By May 15 our food and fuel were running low and we decided to retreat as soon as there was a break in the weather.
May 16:  That morning it was very windy and the summit was still covered in cloud, but there was enough of a break that we could see the way back down.  Here are Andy (in the lead) and Ryan setting out.
May 16:  We only got down to 4,200m before the weather came in again, so we stopped and set up camp.  Here's Andy in his tent that afternoon.
May 18:  The knife-edge ridge  below Camp 2.  On the way up we'd climbed up and over each of these pinnacles, but on the way down we were able to rappel onto the snow ramp to their left and bypass some of the difficulties.
May 18:  Scott leading back across the knife-edge ridge.
May 19:  Andy and Ryan made it from Camp 2 down to Base Camp in one long day, but we mature folks took nine hours just to get down to Camp 1, so we decided to stop for the night.  Here I am the following morning.
May 19:  Scott and me back at Advance Base Camp.  We arrived here in the mid-afternoon heat aften a exciting descent of an avalanche-prone snow slope.
May 19:  With skis on our feet and gravity in our favour we had a rapid descent from ABC back to Base Camp.
May 19:  Base Camp at last!
May 21: Lena, the queen of the glacier.  She and her friends Merrie-Beth, Jacqui and Kari greeted us at Base Camp, having skied 200km from Skagway, Alaska.  Their plan was to climb the East Ridge, descend the other side of the mountain, and continue on skis to Cordova, Alaska, another 200km away!
May 21:  Scott, me, Jocelyn, Ryan and Andy at Base Camp. We waited here for two days because the wind was too strong for Andy Williams to fly. We were lucky – some of Andy's clients had been waiting eight days by this stage.
May 21:  At last the wind died down and Andy Williams was able to fly in and collect us.

May 21:  Back on solid ground at Kluane Lake, a bit thinner than when I started out.
May 21:  There wasn't enough room in Jocelyn's Subaru for all of us and our gear, so for the drive back to Whitehorse Andy, Ryan and I summoned Woody's limo service.  Believe it or not, this is one of the cheapest ways to get from Kluane Lake to Whitehorse...
... and Woody even keeps his limo stocked with beer!