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Mount Waddington Main Summit 1979
Timestamp Free: 2018.03.21 - 11:40:37
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
Participants: Bill Maurer, Brian Vezina, Robert Gordon
Difficulty: 5: Very steep rock, numerous multiple rappels down gulleys, over ice walls, tricky crevasse crossings
An event filled trip to Mount Waddington and Claw Peak. Helicopter to Plummer Hut. Bravo Col, camp at 10,400'.
On August first I received an invitation to join an expedition to Mount Waddington scheduled for the tenth. This left me nine days to buy all the necessary equipment and food. Somehow I also had to persuade my boss to let me have the time off. After a bit of negotiating we finally came to an agreement that I could have the time off if I made it up in overtime when I came back. Well that settled things. I quickly phoned Brian back and confirmed that I would be available and very willing to go. The three of us, Brian, Robert, and myself visited Paul Starr who graciously offered to show us his slides of Waddington. After numerous visits to the Mountain Equipment Co-Op (MEC) and Recreational Equipment Inc (REI) we were ready. Don Serl offered much helpful advice, having just come out of the Waddington area the week before. On Friday the 10th in beautiful sunny weather we drove to Bluff Lake where White Saddle Helicopters and the King family is stationed.
We woke up bright and early Saturday morning in anticipation of the flight in. Mike King, our pilot flew in around 9 a.m. and lifted off with Brian half an hour later to pick a suitable landing site. We had planned to set up base camp at the bottom of Rainy Knob but big crevasses indicated that the best spot would be at the top. An hour later, Mike returned for Robert and me. The helicopter can transport two people with packs at a time and what a fantastic form of transport it is! We flew over Middle Lake and Twist Lake which are surrounded by cattle ranches and then up into the mountains. There is a sharp contrast as the peaks start getting bigger and bigger. Soon we were over glaciers which were wide open and very spectacular to look at. Then we saw it! Waddington came into view standing there in its majestic beauty...
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