Our indexer Dee has finished describing 14 photos of the Norman H. Read Mount Logan Papers, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:
This collection consists of a mere 14 photos depicting a team of mountaineers described as a “hodgepodge of Brits, Americans, Canadians, privileged alpinists, World War I veterans, and inveterate Sourdoughs” who were the very first to ascend Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest peak, and the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on earth. Sure, it’s shorter than Denali, but “because of its remoteness (St. Elias Range of Northwestern Canada in the Yukon Territory) and fierce storms, Logan has seen fewer climbers in its entire human history than one year’s traffic on Denali.”*
Six men pulling two sleds loaded with gear. (UAF-1992-174-1092, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)
The team of six, led by the Canadian Alpine Club-appointed Albert MacCarthy, walked 70 miles up the Chitina River, dragging sleds of gear and supplies until they arrived at the glacial trough, the King Trench, on the west side of the mountain. This final climb took the team more than two weeks to cross the tough terrain and reach the summit, arriving on June 23, 1925 at 8pm.
Along the way, they dealt with fiercely cold weather, storms, blizzards, and avalanches that resulted in frostbite, delays, and exhaustion. They climbed in grueling conditions at altitudes of over 18,000 feet.
This climb has been described as the “most extraordinary epic of hardship and endurance in the annals of North American mountaineering.”** And we’ve got photos of this epic journey in our very own collection. Maybe you should all stop by Rasmuson Library and see these photos for yourself!
Team of mountaineers geared up with backpacks and expedition poles. (UAF-1992-174-1080, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)
*Waterman, Jon. Great mountains of the world: Mt. Logan | adventure journal. http://www.adventure-journal.com/2012/07/great-mountains-of-the-world-mt-logan-2/
**Highpoints of Canada: Mount Logan. http://www.highpointsofcanada.com/mount-logan.html