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Traverse of Wrangell and Saint Elias Ranges (Mount Steele)
Timestamp Free: 2017.11.19 - 14:11:41
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Saint Elias Mountains
  (35 days)
Participants: Dave Williams; Peter Stone; Markus Kellerhals; Betsy Fletcher
Difficulty: 4: Extended ski trip, climbing on Steele required crampons on bare ice.
Ski traverse from the Alaska highway at Donjek River, climbed Mount Steele then traversed to airstrip on Glacier Creek, three food caches were air dropped.
Editor's Note: To see the route on the 1:50K topographic map, click the GMap link. Because the trip is so long, you will initially be positioned at a point not on the route. If you zoom out enough, you will see the trip on a 1:250K view map, but there will be a white gap between Canada and USA. Position to the start of the trip and zoom back down to 1:50K map, where there is no gap.

Area: Wrangell - St Elias Mountains Route Summary: Started on the Alaska Highway at Donjek River, skied up Donjek and Steele Creeks to the east ridge of Steele, climbed Steele via the East Ridge, then down the Hodgson Glacier Wood Glacier, Nesham Glacier, Klutling Glacier, Russell Glacier, then down the Chitistone River to the airstrip on Glacier Creek.

[photo]StEliasMap.jpg[caption]Sketch Map of Route[/photo]

Daily Log
With the arrival of April and the end of classes it became time to think about summer plans. My idea had been to work all summer but by mid April I still had nothing lined up before July. Dave's annual ski traverse began to look more attractive. After looking at maps and discussing the route with Dave I was convinced and by the end of April there were four of us committed to the trip; Dave Williams, Markus Kellerhals, Peter Stone and myself; basically the same group as for last spring's ski traverse in the Mount Fairweather area.

The plan this year was to start from the Alaska Highway at the Donjek River bridge, ski or hike up the Donjek River to Steele Creek, then up the Steele glacier to the base of the east ridge of Mt. Steele, which we wanted to climb. From Mt. Steele we planned to ski roughly west along the northern edge of the St. Elias Mountains out to an airstrip on Glacier Creek, not far from the town of McCarthy in Alaska. A total distance of...

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