Mountain Page   Home     Help   Index     Login
Mount Savage (Peak 2731)  Northwest Territories   #3644
Ranges: MacKenzie Ranges / Selwyn Mountains / Logan Mountains

Height: 2731 m -> 8960 feet
Prominence?: 581 m  
Line Parent?: Mount Nirvana (8.6 km away, at bearing 284 degrees)
Greater Parent: Mount Nirvana (9.0 km away)

Location:   61.85650,-127.52133     61:51:23, -127:31:17   9V 577808 6859080 (16 km NW of Hole In the Wall Lake). (39 km E of Tungsten). (9 km E of Mount Nirvana). NTS Mapsheet: 095.E.13   AreaCode: GM17/IF52
First Ascent: 1960.08. John Milton
This peak is #3 on the Height List for Northwest Territories . This peak is #35 in Prominence List for Northwest Territories .Located 1 km east of the uppermost of the two lakes in the S fork of Rabbit Kettle Creek. This peak was climbed by John Milton in 1960, part of a 2 week hike from Hole In the Wall Lake. "Trying to decide whether or not to risk a solo climb, I spent a troubled night under a sheltering boulder, with a cold mist swirling up the valley below me in the moonlight. Before dropping off into an uneasy sleep, I decided that if the weather were good, I would try it, if not, I would return to Nightwind Lake.

The morning broke clear and fresh. Down in the valley, clouds swirled lazily of two glacial-green lakes. All doubts vanished from my mind. Foolish or wise, my legs seemed to have a will of their own, and I began to climb. The west face of Mt. Savage was cut by two steep snow chutes that rose parallel to each other on both sides of the summit block. I chose the southernmost of the two chutes, one wich rose 2500 vertical feet without a break, and to within 500 vertical feet of the summit. Ice, covered by snow, filled the couloir. All I had with me was an ice axe, my crampons having been lost in the struggle to get Ed down through the boulder field. I would have to kick and cut my way up."

The going was not bad at first, for I was able to kick steps into the avalanche snow which had collected at the bottom. I made a mental note to start my descent before the sun had circled around to far to the southwest when it could cause a dangerous change in the condition of the snow. As I climbed, the grade steepened with less snow and a great deal more ice. Soon I was cutting handholds as well as footholds. At one point midway up the chute, I passed a great mass of dangerous looking snow hanging on either side of the couloir. It lay in a steep wind trap, out of the sun, and appeared to be in two layers: a fresh, powdery layou on top of a hard crusted one. The routine of "chop, chop", step, "chop chop" became monotonous. My body acted automatically. Once I slipped several feet on the smooth ice, but managed to catch myself in time with the pick of the axe. Near the top of the chute, the grade grew easier. A few more minutes and I was at the top.

There was a massive overhang blocking the way directly up the ridge to the summit, and so I was forced to traverse it by a short series of steep pitches and a U shaped ledge to a narrow chimney which brought me onto an adjoining ridge. The rock was good and my lugs bit cleanly. At one point another overhang gave some trouble, but two narrow cracks running around the east side provided good jam holds to circumvent it. Beyond the overhang, a series of steep friction slabs with several thousand feet of exposure had to be traversed, leading back to the original ridge, from which it was a short climb to the summit. The view was magnificant. To the west, flanked by a complex series of glaciers, the summit of Mount Nahanni (Mount Nirvana) reared its granite head into the gathering storm clouds. A wild, chaotic spread of thrusting mountains, nearly all of them unclimbed, spread to the horizon. Here was wilderness.

Name Notes: This peak is not labelled on the 1:50,000 maps. Named to honor the wilderness.

Trip Reports within 1 km


Subject Photos   View Thumbnails