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Mt Logan East Ridge Spring 2014
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By I Man
Jan 7, 2014

Has anyone here climbed the East Ridge of Mt Logan? I'd be very interested in talking with someone who has attempted the route as our team has several questions.
We are also looking for contact info for Andy Williams or any other pilots that will fly us onto the glacier.
If anyone is interested in this expedition for 4 weeks leaving mid May, let's talk. Cheers!


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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Jan 7, 2014
Mt. Churchill, University Range

Andy's email is icefields@yukon.net, he's a great pilot that's been flying in the area for along time. Or you can charter a helicopter to fly you in, the plus side to that is they can fly in more adverse weather.


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By Vaughn Fetzer
From Fairbanks, AK
Jan 8, 2014

I have. You can PM me with a few questions. Flying in with Andy would be your best and probably safest choice.


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Jan 8, 2014
Stairway to Heaven

See www.icefields.org for details of Andy Williams's charter service. Another pilot (Donjek Upton) does much of the flying these days.

You might have to spend up to a week waiting for a flight in or out. Andy's plane isn't as powerful as e.g. the planes that the Talkeetna pilots use, and the flight from Kluane Lake to Logan goes up and over some high ridges that are exposed to bad weather. So he's fairly conservative about the conditions he'll fly in.

I don't know if it's possible to charter a helicopter. Some years ago we spoke to a helicopter company in Haines Junction (TransNorth) but they weren't interested. They were making too much money providing services to mining companies to risk damaging their equipment by landing some tourists on a remote glacier.

Climbers headed for the King Trench often fly in from the Alaska side with Ultima Thule (Paul Claus) and land at the Yukon border, but that's not practical for the E Ridge. Trans-border flights used to be possible but not any more.

This is a good place to stay if you're stuck at Kluane Lake waiting for flying conditions to improve: www.yukonbandb.org/kluanebb.html


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By I Man
Jan 22, 2014

Thanks for the info everyone. We have a team of 4 going mid May thru near the end of June.
We will be flying with Icefields@yukon who gave us a very good price.
For multiple reasons, we are flying into Anchorage. We need to figure out how to getto Silver City and then back. Any help is greatly appreciated!


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Jan 22, 2014
Stairway to Heaven

I Man wrote:
We need to figure out how to get to Silver City and then back. Any help is greatly appreciated!


Not sure about current regulations, but you may need to make a side trip to the Parks Canada office in Haines Junction to pick up permits. Haines Junction is about 40 mi E of Silver City.


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By Old School WB
From Calgary
Mar 31, 2014
OSWB mugshot

I Man

I was randomly searching Mt. Logan for fun and found your post. I attempted the East Ridge of Logan in May of 2001. Great route, you guys will have a blast.

We didnít summit because we had a ton of bad weather, high winds and lots of snow. We also only had about 3 weeks available, including driving back and forth from Calgary to the Yukon, flight into base camp and the climb itself. We had to wait about 9 days at Kluane Lake for the weather to clear to allow the flight into base camp, we flew with Andy Williams, fantastic pilot, no one knows the icefield better than Andy; the newer pilot, Donjek is also top notch.

We reached about 4100 metres, but we did not reach the intersection of the Hubsew ridge, about the C5 location shown on the topo map I just uploaded

Based on our 2001 experience, I would say this topo is very accurate. I hope it provides some useful information.

Martinís comment is quite correct, you must register in person in Haines Junction prior to landing on the icefield; unless the parkís regulations have changed in the last couple of years. In the past, the climbing wardens were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, a call to the Kluane National Park would be a great idea. The drive from the airstrip at Kluane Lake (Silver City) to Haines Junction is about 40 minutes. While in town hit the local bakery, it is awesome.

When I was at Kluane Lake in 1999, we attempted and failed on the Catenary Ridge route there was big group of Americans (six members) who had drove up from Salt Lake City, they were unsuccessful on their East Ridge attempt. I know they like having their vehicle because they also waited more than a week at the airstrip; they were able to do pizza and beer runs to Haines Junction.

No ideas or connections on how to travel to the airstrip from Anchorage, good luck.

Alpinist 31 has some good beta on Logan.


If you have any questions about the route, please let me know, I will provide information as best as I remember.

Cheers
Kevin


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By Brian in SLC
Mar 31, 2014
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

I climbed it in 1995. Summited. Long trip (33 days).

We flew with Gulf Air but Kurt's no longer around...so...maybe Andy is the option.

Post your questions here if you want...fun to hash them out for the entertainment of others.

You can see our trip report in both the 1996 CAJ and AAJ.


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By I Man
Apr 4, 2014

Thanks for the responses everyone. A few updates:

We have been in contact with Andy's outfit and they are super helpful (and affordable) and we have been lucky enough to arrange rides with friends in both directions so that is all squared away.

The beta posted has been very useful. The biggest fear is to get stuck in Kluane for over a week. So far we have not submitted our permit but I will call the park today, not sure if they are staffed yet for the season.

A few questions:

1) Food. This will be the first trip of this length I am doing and I am curious what types of food people bring so that you are eating well (and avoiding scurvy!) 2...3...4 weeks into the trip. By 2 weeks in on Denali the food wasn't as good.

2) Pro and technique on route. Did most people fix ropes? What gear did you bring? A selection of 6 ice screws, 4 pickets and some rock pro was our thinking. I am also debating between two tools and 1 hybrid/1 tool combo.

Appreciate the advice.


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By Brian in SLC
Apr 4, 2014
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

I Man wrote:
1) Food. This will be the first trip of this length I am doing and I am curious what types of food people bring so that you are eating well (and avoiding scurvy!) 2...3...4 weeks into the trip. By 2 weeks in on Denali the food wasn't as good. 2) Pro and technique on route. Did most people fix ropes? What gear did you bring? A selection of 6 ice screws, 4 pickets and some rock pro was our thinking. I am also debating between two tools and 1 hybrid/1 tool combo. Appreciate the advice.


1) We had a mix of easy to rehydrate stuff (boiling water). Mtn House mostly, with raman noodles, potato flakes, butter, cheese, salami. Heavy stuff but dense in calories.

Not a fan of most dehydrated foods, but, for breakfasts really liked the eggs and bacon from Mtn House, and, their raspberry crisp was a winner for breakfast too. Granola and milk. Gobs of instant coffee and hot chocolate.

For dinner, popping a Mtn House sausage patty in a mug of potato flakes, with a hunk of cheese and butter, seemed to answer the mail.

Flying in, at your basecamp, you can eat pretty well until you commit to the ridge. We had outback ovens for pizza and cinnimon rolls. You get stuck on the back end of the trip in bad weather, you might appreciate a canned ham, maybe some bacon, a tube or six of dinner rolls and cinnimon rolls, anything that isn't soupy. We had a few cans of pringles that instantly vaporized when we dug our basecamp cache out (tip of a 16 foot wand barely visible!). Bring a couple of super long wands you can tape together and some flagging tape, black especially (orange can be hard to see when you're inside the ping pong ball).

2) We had a spare thin rope or two for the dicey spots that no one wanted to re-lead, otherwise, we double carried and re-led all the pitches.

I'd highly recommend two "real" tools until you hit the plateau where the ridge rolls off. Then, you can cache one and just summit with a single tool and maybe a ski pole. Something you're proficient at self arrest with, too (ie, one tool that has a standard classic pick and straight shaft is what I like). Its easy to tip over unexpectedly with a heavy pack and funky terrain, especially given the length of the route.

The route had a few stretches of fairly dense ice on it. Nice to be able to slam in two decent ice tools in that stuff, even if its only WI 3-ish. Can get your attention on a long day with a heavy pack on...

Your screw/picket mix seems good. I think we had a few light pins for some of the rock bits. Usually there's a bit of fixed tat from other parties you can clip into around any rocky outcrops...


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By Old School WB
From Calgary
Apr 4, 2014
OSWB mugshot

Brian from SLC is the man; pretty much the advice I would give.

My East Ridge partner was an American from Nevada and an occasional cook. He was keen to bring heavy, non-dehydrated food, we bought 90% of our food in Whitehorse on the way up; turns out we had to eat some in Kluane Lake while waiting to fly in, but we did restock in Haines Junction.

The meal plan, Aaron planned it out, was awesome for the first 10 or so days. We did bring several cans of salmon and tuna, these we mixed with packaged noodles that included flavouring, brands like Knorr (Lipton) Sidekicks. We had the canned fish about every third night. We also brought about 4 fresh green peppers and white onions. We brought a few packages of tortillas and about 6 big blocks of cheese. The cheese was heavy and was frozen solid once on the ridge, but after a long day of climbing, a nice sharp cheddar was a dream. The first few nights we had burritos, canned beans, cheese, green peppers, onion and fresh garlic. We did bring about two onions and peppers on the ridge, they did freeze a bit over night, but we kept close to our bodies in the tent. The fresh vegetable was nice, onions was heavy, but not too bad. Near the end of the onion we would throw it into pasta or soup, added a lot of flavour. I was totally fine with instant oatmeal or crŤme of wheat for all breakfasts, often with coconut, raisins or brown sugar. Lunch was often cheese, chocolate, tortillas with peanut butter or nutella, GORP, other nut like mixtures.

The plan for the last week or so was all lightweight dehydrated food for dinner (we never used this food on Logan, used it backpacking that summer). Of course lots of powdered coffee, hot chocolate, teas and powdered juice. We used a lot of powdered garlic and salt and pepper, especially the last week of the trip. Brian is bang on about base camp, landing zone, cache. You never carry it, so go big! Canned ham, spam, canned wieners, cookies, chips, vodka and beer! You might sit at the landing zone for a week too.

Based on the advice of a friend who was successful on the East Ridge in 1999, we brought zero rock protection. The few rock sections are easy 5 class (more like hard 4 th class) and easy to protect with slings on horns or use of existing fixed gear. We only brought about 6 to 8 long slings each, about 6 non locking biners and 4 lockers each. I think we had 5 pickets and about 4 or 6 ice screws each. We used both pickets and ice screws a lot (of course we just used the slings/biners on the snow/ice pro). I used a standard mountaineering axe and a straight shaft ice tool (Charlet Moser Pulsar). My standard mountain axe had a snow pick that was not very aggressive, several times I wanted a better ice pick. I currently have a pair of BD Venoms, one with the standard ice pick, and the other with the standard snow pick. I think this pair would be perfect for the ridge, supplemented by a pair, or single, ski pole. We did ski from the landing zone to the base on the ridge. We did bring two ski poles each up the ridge. We only brought one 55 metre double rope (9 mm I think). Of course, big (bigger the better) shovel and avalanche transceivers and probes (thankfully only used the probe for ensuring tents pads were not on a crevasse).

Most of the climbing is moderate rock/snow/ice, but with a monster pack (must of been the cheese ;-) the exposure, cold and long days make your desire for protection much higher than a Saturday morning romp up some local glacier. Donít go too light on protection; you can always cached it. We had several close calls with crevasse falls and we helped another 2 man team with a crevasse rescue. With our attempt, the crevasses were sneaky and dangerous about 2600 to 3000 metres.


Play safe, carefully assess snow stability (there have been several avalanches fatalities over the years) and have a blast. I am very jealous. I would love to know how the trip turns out for your team and would love to see a lot of photos.

Best of luck!


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By I Man
Apr 4, 2014

I spoke with Scott over at Kluane and they are not as strict about the orientation as they used to be. If they get an overall good feeling about your team you can skip it and go directly to the airstrip. Thought that might be useful info to someone.

Thanks again for all the detailed advice. It is very useful in our planning.


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By I Man
Jun 16, 2014

Wanted to give everyone an update and thank people for their helpful advice. Three of us started up the East ridge on june 1st. We found the route to be very out of condition and dangerous snow conditions requiring us to climb at night. We climbed the route, traversed across the plateau (skipping the main summit) and descended the Kings Trench. We travelled fast and light doing the route alpine style in 15 days. It was both amazing and a nightmare. We were the only ones on the mountain. Words cannot describe how truly awe inspiring the range is.


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By Brian in SLC
Jun 20, 2014
Climbing in Smuggler's Notch

Awesome!

Glad you're home safe.

Toss up some pic's!


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