Mount Fairweather

Last updated
Mount Fairweather
Tsalxhaan
Fairweather and Quincy Adams.jpg
Mount Fairweather (left) with Mount Quincy Adams (right) from the Pacific Ocean, 2001.
Highest point
Elevation 4671 m (15,325 ft) [1]
NAVD88
Prominence 3961 m (12,995 ft) [1]
Isolation 200 km (124.4 mi) [1]
Listing
Coordinates 58°54′23″N137°31′36″W / 58.90639°N 137.52667°W / 58.90639; -137.52667 Coordinates: 58°54′23″N137°31′36″W / 58.90639°N 137.52667°W / 58.90639; -137.52667 [2]
Geography
Relief map of USA Alaska.png
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Mount Fairweather
Location on Alaska/B.C. border
Canada British Columbia relief location map.jpg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Mount Fairweather
Mount Fairweather (British Columbia)
Location Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska / Stikine Region, British Columbia
Parent range Fairweather Range
Topo map NTS 114I13
Climbing
First ascent June 8, 1931 by Allen Carpé and Terris Moore
Easiest route glacier/snow/ice climb

Mount Fairweather (officially gazetted as Fairweather Mountain in Canada [2] but referred to as Mount Fairweather), is the highest mountain in the Canadian province of British Columbia, with an elevation of 4,671 metres (15,325 ft). It is located 20 km (12 mi) east of the Pacific Ocean on the border of Alaska, United States and western British Columbia, Canada. Most of the mountain lies within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the City and Borough of Yakutat, Alaska (USA), though the summit borders Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, British Columbia (Canada). It is also designated as Boundary Peak 164 or as US/Canada Boundary Point #164. [1] [3]

Contents

The mountain was named on May 3, 1778 by Captain James Cook, [4] apparently for the unusually good weather encountered at the time. The name has been translated into many languages. It was called "Mt. Beautemps" by La Perouse (1786, atlas), "Mte. Buen-tiempo" by Galiano (1802, map 3), "Gor[a]-Khoroshy-pogody" on Russian Hydrographic Dept. Chart 1378 in 1847, and "G[ora] Fayerveder" by Captain Tebenkov (1852, map 7), Imperial Russian Navy. It was called "Schönwetterberg" by Constantin Grewingk in 1850 and "Schönwetter Berg" by Justus Perthes in 1882. [5]

Fairweather was first climbed in 1931 by Allen Carpé and Terris Moore. [6] [5]

Geography

Mount Fairweather is located right above Glacier Bay in the Fairweather Range of the Saint Elias Mountains. Mount Fairweather also marks the northwest extremity of the Alaska Panhandle.

Like many peaks in the St. Elias Mountains, Mount Fairweather has great vertical relief due to its dramatic rise from Glacier Bay. However, due to poor weather in the area, this effect is usually obscured with the clouds which often hides the summit from view.

Known in the Tlingit language as Tsalxhaan, it is said this mountain and Yaas'éit'aa Shaa (Mt. St. Elias) were originally next to each other but had an argument and separated. Their children, the mountains in between the two peaks, are called Tsalxhaan Yatx'i (Children of Tsalxaan.)[ citation needed ]

Weather

Despite its name, Mount Fairweather has generally harsh weather conditions. It receives over 100 inches (254 cm) of precipitation each year (mostly snow) and sees temperatures of around −50 °F (−46 °C).[ citation needed ]

Climbing history

Dixon Harbor with Mt. Fairweather in the centre, 1925. Mt Fairweather 1925.jpg
Dixon Harbor with Mt. Fairweather in the centre, 1925.

No attempt at climbing the mountain had been successful until 1931.

First Ascent

After failing to reach the summit in 1926 due to terrain difficulty on their chosen route, Allen Carpe, W.S. Ladd, Andy Taylor returned in 1931 along with a new member Terry Moore. In early April the group began their approach by boat but stormy weather delayed them rounding Cape Fairweather until April 17. They reached Lituya Bay and unloaded their supplies on the beach. Backtracking 21 kilometres (13 mi) along the coast, they made their way to the Fairweather Glacier. From base camp in a spot they called Paradise Valley, they decided to attempt the mountain from the south rather than via the west ridge. Due to deep snow, they realized that skis and snowshoes would be of great help so Carpe and Moore made the 80 km (50 mi) round trip to fetch them from Lituya Bay. [6]

They ascended the glacier from base camp and setup camp at 1,520 m (4,987 ft) on the mountain's south face. On May 25, they established high camp at 2,740 m (8,990 ft) after making significant progress up a ridge on a rare day of good weather. However, the weather turned and they were forced to descend after an overnight coating of snow. After waiting out the snowstorm for six days at lower camp, they made their way back up to high camp on June 2. They left for the summit at 1:30 am on June 3 and having reached the southeast shoulder by mid-morning, they were feeling so confident that they left the willow wands behind. However, higher altitude and the weeks of hard effort slowed their progress and then the weather changed. By 1 pm not far from the summit, they decided to retreat and had to descend without the wands to guide them. They managed to reach the tents by 4 pm. Ladd and Taylor volunteered to descend due to dwindling supplies at high camp with the hope that Carpe and Moore would be able to make another attempt in good weather. The storm raged for four days before it finally cleared in the evening on June 7. At 10 pm, Carpe and Moore set out for the summit and with no further difficulties made it to the top. [6]

See also

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Mount Turner (Fairweather Range)

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Mount Watson (Alaska)

Mount Watson is a 12,497-foot glaciated mountain summit located in the Fairweather Range of the Saint Elias Mountains, in southeast Alaska, United States. It ranks as the fifth-highest peak in the Fairweather Range. The peak is situated in Glacier Bay National Park, 2 mi (3 km) west of the Canada–United States border, and 7.16 mi (12 km) north of Mount Fairweather, which is the highest peak in the Fairweather Range. The mountain's name was officially adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1924 to commemorate David Thompson Watson (1844-1916), who was US Counsel to the 1903 Alaska Boundary Tribunal. The first ascent of the peak was made June 18, 1974, by Michael Allen, Walter Gove, Lawrence Dauelsberg, Alice Liska, and Donald Liska via the East Ridge. The first ascent of the North Face was made in April 1999 by Chris Trimble and Jim Earl. The months May through June offer the most favorable weather for climbing.

Mount La Perouse

Mount La Perouse is a 10,728-foot glaciated mountain summit located in the Fairweather Range of the Saint Elias Mountains, in southeast Alaska, United States. The peak is situated in Glacier Bay National Park, 4 mi (6 km) southeast of Mount Dagelet, 7.6 mi (12 km) south-southeast of Mount Crillon which is the nearest higher peak, and 28.6 mi (46 km) southeast of Mount Fairweather, which is the highest peak in the Fairweather Range. Topographic relief is significant as the mountain rises up from tidewater in less than nine miles. The mountain was named in 1874 by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Geological Survey, for Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse (1741-1788), a French navigator who explored this coastal area in 1786. The first ascent of the peak was made in 1953 by USGS party consisting of James Seitz, Karl Stauffer, Rowland Tabor, Rolland Reid, and Paul Bowen. On February 16, 2014, a colossal 68 million ton landslide broke free from the flanks of Mt. La Perouse and flowed nearly 4.6 miles from where it originated. The months May through June offer the most favorable weather for climbing and viewing.

Mount Bertha

Mount Bertha is a 10,204-foot glaciated mountain summit located in the Fairweather Range of the Saint Elias Mountains, in southeast Alaska, United States. The peak is situated in Glacier Bay National Park, 5.5 mi (9 km) east-northeast of Mount Crillon which is the nearest higher peak, and 23.5 mi (38 km) southeast of Mount Fairweather, which is the highest peak in the Fairweather Range. The mountain's name first appeared in 1910 when published by U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. The USGS claims it was named after S.S. Bertha, an Alaska Commercial Company steamer in service from 1888 until it wrecked at Uyak Bay on July 18, 1915. However, according to Bradford Washburn of the Boston Museum of Science and American Mountaineering Museum, this feature was named for a prostitute in Skagway known by members of the International Boundary Commission who surveyed the area. The first ascent of the peak was made July 30, 1940, by Bradford Washburn, his wife Barbara Washburn, Maynard Miller, Michl Feuersinger, and Thomas Winship. It was the first mountain climbing experience for Barbara, and Bradford would later refer to the expedition as their honeymoon since they had recently married in April. After the expedition she would learn that she was several months pregnant. In 1947 she became the first woman to summit Denali. The months May through June offer the most favorable weather for climbing and viewing.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Mount Fairweather, Alaska-British Columbia". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2015-12-30.
  2. 1 2 "Fairweather Mountain". BC Geographical Names . Retrieved 2010-07-13.
  3. "Mount Fairweather-Northeast Peak, British Columbia". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  4. Terris Moore, "Mount Fairweather, Correction", American Alpine Journal 1982, p. 139. He cites Cook and King Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, Volume II, Admiralty, London, 1784, p. 345.
  5. 1 2 3 "Mount Fairweather". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved 2004-07-09.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Scott, Chic (2000). Pushing the Limits, The Story of Canadian Mountaineering . Calgary, AB, Canada: Rocky Mountain Books. pp.  130–131. ISBN   0-921102-59-3.
  7. 1 2 Metcalf, Peter (1974). "The Southwest Ridge of Fairweather". American Alpine Journal. New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club. 19 (48): 19–22. ISBN   978-0-930410-71-1 . Retrieved 2018-01-07.
  8. Gove, Walter; Adkins, Loren (1969). "The West Ridge of Mount Fairweather". American Alpine Journal. Philadelphia, PA, USA: American Alpine Club. 16 (43): 390. Retrieved 2019-08-21.

Further reading