MT. Logan Expedition - 5,959m - 19,550' with Canada West Mountain School

Local time in Whitehorse -

Mt. Logan is situated in the remote St. Elias Range of North Western Canada in the Yukon Territory. Click Here to see location on Google Map
Logan is renowned for is massive size as well as it's remote setting, making it a highly prized objective among mountaineers seeking a true expedition feel on a high altitude climb. Surrounded by hundreds of square kilometers of glaciers and alpine rock in Kluane National Park, Mt Logan is considered to be one of the worlds largest mountains in size, if not height.

It is the crown jewel of Kluane National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Logan is the highest point in Canada, and though second in North America only to Mount McKinley, is described as a more spectacular mountain without the crowds. The Logan massif rises about 3,000 m from the surrounding glaciers and has the largest base circumference of any mountain on Earth. A glaciated plateau, about 20 km long and 5 km wide covers the top of the massif, and due to active tectonic uplifting, Mt. Logan is actually still rising in elevation.

In 1890, I.C. Russell of the U.S. Geological Survey, while undertaking a survey in the St. Elias Mountains, named Mount Logan for Sir William Edmond Logan (1798-1875). Born in Montréal and educated in Scotland, Logan founded the Geological Survey of Canada in 1842.

Mt. Logan was first climbed on June 23, 1925 by A.H. MacCarthy, H.F. Lambart, A. Carpe, W.W. Foster, N. Read and A. Taylor
The Kings Trench route on Logan is an isolated and adventurous path to the highest summit in Canada and 2nd highest in North America. This route is similar in nature to most of the West Buttress route on Denali, with the exception of the fixed ropes section on Denali - no fixed ropes or steep climbing are encountered on the Kings Trench route.

This once-in-a-lifetime trip starts with a 1-hour flight through some of the highest, most remote mountains in North America. After landing at approximately 2,800 meters at the lower end of the "Kings Trench", we will set our base camp on the Quintino Sella Glacier. From there we spend 5-6 days making our way on skis or snowshoes up the glaciers to establish an Advanced Base Camp at the 4,000 meter col between the Logan Massif and King Peak. After this point, in order to continue acclimatizing well, we will take a rest day before staging our carries over the next few days onto the upper mountain. Our final camp will be at approximately 5,500 meters in preparation for the summit attempt. After the summit, our descent back down our route will take a quick two days. A climb (and ski run for the skiers) to be remembered!

Kluane Lake Airport Google Maps Google Earth
Base Camp - 2760m - 9,055 ft - King's Trench Quintino-Stella Glacier Google Maps Google Earth
Camp 1 - 3270m - 10,730 ft - King's Trench Camp Google Maps Google Earth
Camp 2 - 4140m - 13,580 ft - King Col Google Maps Google Earth
Camp 3 - 4850m - 15,900 ft - Football Field Google Maps Google Earth
Camp 4 - 5250m - 17,220 ft - Windy Camp going up Ion Col Google Maps Google Earth
Camp 5 - 5085m - 16,680 ft - Plateau Camp to Summit Google Maps Google Earth
Summit - 5959m - 19,550 ft Google Maps Google Earth

Due to the need to acclimatize on a mountain of this nature, the elevation gain between camps is only 600-700 meters every 2-days. This allows for a slower pace, though participants should be in excellent physical condition and be prepared for extreme weather conditions and altitude.

Canada West Mountain School is also blogging this expedition. Click Here to see it.

Thomas Lausser, the third client on the expedition has a grand adventure underway, of which Mt. Logan is just a part. Read about it Here.

Thomas is also carrying a SPOT messenger, and his share page, which shows three days of history, can be seen Here.

June 3 Made it down, and out. Flew out to Silver City by Kluane Lake. Now, the challenge is to get back to Whitehorse, have a shower, and get to the airport in time to catch a flight home.
June 2 Descending from Camp 5 all the way down to Camp 3 above the Ice Fall. The plan is to go all the way down to base camp tomorrow, and with any bit of luck, we might even get flown back to civilization tomorrow evening. That means we could potentially be home Thursday evening. Cross your fingers. A long soak in the bathtub is consuming my dreams....shampoo....clean hair....
June 1 SUMMIT !!!!!!!!!   5959m - 19,550'   Waaaaaaaaaaaaa Hooooooooooooooo !!!
May 31 Moved to Plateau Camp 5 at 5085,m - 16,680' and are now well positioned for a summit attempt on Monday.
May 30 Rest Day
May 29 Moved to Windy Camp 4. We are now well staged to continue to Camp 5 and the summit.
May 28 Load carry to Windy Camp 4 at 5250m - 17,220'. Returning to Camp 3 to sleep.
May 27 Move to Football Field Camp 3 at 4850m - 15,900'. Whew...what a long day.
May 26 Load carry to Football Field Camp 3 at 4850m - 15,900'. Returning to Camp 2 to sleep, and prep for the move to Camp 3.
May 25 Further exploration of the route through the crevasse field. They made it up to 4710m - 15,450'. Looks like they can get through so the plan is to do the first carry to Camp 3 tomorrow.
May 24 Rest Day. A French Canadian team of six made their way down the route, lending hope that a safe route through is available. Will explore again tomorrow. By the way, of the six French Canadians, four had summited, and reported it was 40 below at the summit.
May 23 Explored to 4675m - 15,340'. Trying to find a route around a cravasse.
May 22 Moved to King Col Camp 2 at 4140m - 13,580'.
May 21 Load carry to King Col Camp 2 at 4140m - 13,580'.
May 20 Today we moved up the Quintino-Stella Glacier to King's Trench Camp 1 at 3270m - 10,730'.
May 19 Today was a load carry up the Quintino-Stella Glacier to the King's Trench Camp 1 at 3270m - 10,730'.

The plan is to make 5 camps. One day is a carry to the first camp, skiing back down to sleep. The next day is the move up to the camp we prepared the day before. Rest days and weather days are what will slow down our progress up the mountain
May 18 Fly onto Quintino Stella Glacier and set up our base camp at 2760m - 9,055'.

The King's Trench Route ascends the west side of the mountain and is non-technical: most of the climb is made on skis up a large glacier system. This was the first-ascent route in 1925, which was a major tour-de-force for its time due to how far the climbers had to travel before even reaching the peak.
May 10 to May 17 We waited...and waited...and waited for the weather window to fly into the park. No dice. On Sunday, the 17th., there was one flight in for a small team ahead of us. The plane had a tail-wind to deal with on landing and skidded sideways. Good thing there wasn't anything to catch on or the plane could have flipped and crashed. To say the least, this halted further attempts that day.

Due to its proximity to the Gulf of Alaska, severe snow storms can hit the upper part of the mountain any time of the year. Temperatures are extremely cold on and near Mount Logan. On May 26, 1991 a record -77.5 °C (-106.6 °F) was observed, making it the coldest recorded temperature outside of Antarctica. (It is not counted as the coldest temperature in North America since it was recorded at a very high altitude.)

No season is really good as storms can blow in at anytime and many parties have spent their entire trip hunkered down in their tents. The normal climbing season is from late April to early July with the weather getting worse as the summer progresses and then turning very ugly when winter arrives. Some say that the winter ascent is best but this is not for the faint of heart as it is difficult to get an air charter, the temperature is very extreme -40c down to -75c at altitude without wind-chill, the wind is severe 50-150kph and to top it off one is very far North there are only a few hours of light (2-4) in the day. So if you like very cold camping at altitude in the dark this is the place for you.
May 9 Travelled to Lake Kluane west of Whitehorse. Weather permitting, we would fly into the glacier park close to Mt. Logan today. Unfortunately, weather did not permit, so we set up camp on the airport grounds.
May 8 Flew from Edmonton to Whitehorse, Met up with the rest of the team, and went over equipment for expedition. Discovered some missing items and went shopping.