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Mount Priestley, first ascent
Timestamp Free: 2018.02.21 - 10:47:04
Ranges: North America Ranges / BC Interior Mountains / Hazelton Mountains / Nass Ranges
Participants: John Gill, Drew, Steven Some rappels and difficult navigation on glacier in whiteout.
Many months ago, Drew and I had the crazy idea to try and climb a mountain that had never been climbed before in Canada. Initially I thought that there wouldn't be any. Surely all the ones worth climbing, had been. We then found a list on bivouac.com which listed about 20 unclimbed 'ultra mountains'. These are mountains that have a very high prominence. We started plotting them all out on a map and ruled out any that were too remote or too far away. A couple of potential mountains came up, the most accessible one being Mt Priestley in Northern BC. It was the 2nd most prominent unclimbed mountain in BC (not any more). We started searching maps and trying to find as much information about the mountain, but found pretty much nothing. Wikipedia had no info, there were no photos, Google Maps was rather fuzzy on the area etc. Nothing very helpful. Drew managed to get in touch with a pilot who took some photos which revealed a bit more about the area.
Mt Priestly sits in the Nass Valley, North of Terrace. It's the home of the Nisga'a Nation and the site of a huge volcanic eruption back in the mid 17 hundreds. The valley is now covered in volcanic debris and lava flow. We wanted to make sure that we weren't trespassing on any prohibited land by climbing Priestley so we got in touch with Steven who runs the tours to the original volcano site. He said we would be fine to go up our planned route and that he knew of no previous attempts on the mountain. All good news! Next, we had to find a 3rd person for our team. Drew put a post out on Facebook and our friend Jordan replied to the call. We were set to go! We planned to leave on June 16 to drive 1,500m over 2 days to get to the Nass Valley. We made good time and got there early afternoon on the 17th. We spent the evening...
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