Mount Logan

Quebec climber Monique Richard reaches the summit of Mount Logan in solo climb and becomes the first woman to do so alone.

“Monique just reached the summit,” François Masse said in an email message to The Canadian Press, referring to Monique Richard.

Richard had to deal with unseasonably cold temps, delays and equipment issues during her climb of the 5,959-metre peak, Canada’s highest, in Yukon’s Kluane National Park.

Parks Canada says there is no record in its data stretching back to the late 1800s of any woman having reached the summit in a solo climb.

The Montrealer started on May 15 and reached a camp on the King’s Trench 800 metres from the summit on Tuesday.

“Tonight I sleep at 5,144 metres,” Richard said in a brief exchange with The Canadian Press. “Wow! 815 metres to go. Awesome. I am so lucky. Tired. Burned face but still smiling.”

Parks Canada says the weather has come as advertised this climbing season.

“It has been somewhat unseasonably cold, with mountaineering groups reporting –30 C temperatures even at this time of year, but this is not far from normal,” the department said Wednesday.

Parks Canada warns that the three biggest obstacles to reaching the summit are the remoteness, the weather and the altitude.

Richard said her first night was “weird and uncomfortable” as she had to deal with a torn tent and finicky stove.

She had to spend a week at camp two due to bad weather. Nearly the entire climb was in poor conditions.

“She’s had two whiteouts since she flew out and that was her biggest fear,” Masse said. “But it’s full speed ahead.”

Two Quebec climbers were several hundred metres behind her to give her a measure of reassurance, Masse said.

Richard plans for a two-day descent and is about a week ahead of her planned schedule.

“Take secure routes,” Richard said on her way up. “Rest, lots of rest. 25 steps and rest. Having the time of my life. The mountain is all mine. No one around.”

Interview in Whitehorse before the challenge ( Logan Solo)

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3 Comments

  • I’m not sure she can continue to claim this as an ascent.

  • Natasha says:

    Bravo Monique !!!

  • Stanley says:

    How can this be considered a successful summit? I know plenty of female climbers who are more than capable of climbing and descending the summit. Shouldn’t the privilege of “first Female” to summit be reserved for someone who goes up AND DOWN on their own in a safe manner?

    I just listened to the CBC news, two men reporting how they were asked to assist Parks Canada Rescue to help her off the mountain. Reports that she was in near hypothermic state and disorientated at Prospectors Col area (just below summit, where she retreated and I presume she sent her note above). With the aid of the two in the CBC news she was assisted to get ready to descend, rehydrated and provided food. They apparently helped guide her to the safety of their camp 4. A helicopter then aided in her rescue, abandoning of gear and taking her from the mountain.

    Glad Ms Richard is safe and was able to get the help. But please update this story to provide all the details and facts.