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John Lauchlan Award Recipients Climb New Yukon Routes

The 2014 John Lauchlan Award recipients have returned from a successful trip to a remote part of the Yukon.

Jay Mills, Eamonn Walsh and Carl Diehl (in place of Steve Holeczi) spent the better part of a month in the rarely-visited Kluane Mountains in the southwest corner of the Yukon after receiving the John Lauchlan Award in 2014.

Photo by Jay Mills Kluane
“The first morning we headed up to the steep mixed walls on McKim, but once the sun rose we wisely decided to retreat and watch the walls for a couple days first. It turned out that stuff was constantly falling down all the lines we hoped to climb.” – Jay Mills

“After a week of waiting out bad weather,” said Mills. “We flew on a ski plane onto a glacier below Mount Wiesshorn near Mount Kennedy.”

The team’s objectives were moderate to steep mixed walls, but after arriving, they realized the walls were capped with large seracs and cornices. “After a couple days of watching them we turned our attention to less steep, but safer lines,” said Mills.

"The north ridge of the Wiesshorn from the air." - Jay Mills
“The north ridge of the Wiesshorn from the air.” – Jay Mills

The 2013 John Lauchlan Award Winner’s trip report

“We ended up completing the first ascent of the North Ridge of the Wiesshorn (III), which was a beautiful snow ridge with some short bits of moderate mixed climbing.”

After their first ascent of Wiesshorn, they made the first ascent of a peak east of Mount Kennedy, followed by another easier first ascent of a straightforward glacier/snow route.

On the summit of the unnamed  peak after their second first ascent of the trip.  Photo Jay Mills
On the summit of the unnamed peak after their second first ascent of the trip. Photo Jay Mills

“Although we were disappointed that our planned climbs were too dangerous,” said Mills, “it was still a great trip into one of the most beautiful and remote mountain areas I have ever seen.”

The John Lauchlan Memorial Award is a cash award that exists to perpetuate the bold and adventurous spirit that John Lauchlan exemplified in his mountain exploits.

It strives to promote the development of Canadian mountaineers at an international level with financial support that non-commercial expeditions have difficulty accessing. For more info, visit the Alpine Club of Canada.

For more photos and adventures by Jay Mills, visit his Facebook page: Canadian Rockies Alpine Guides.

Carl Diehl, Jay Mills and Eamonn Walsh on another Kluane summit. Photo Jay Mills