Make sure your anchor is as sure as death. – Royal Robbins
|North America’s Highest Peaks
4. 18,008-foot Mount Saint Elias, Alaska/Yukon
||Gerry took this photograph from Yakutat Bay during an incredible
stretch of good weather in June 1999.
Yes, that’s ocean water in the foreground.
This photo shows the eastern side of St. Elias. The south ridge or Harvard
Route is the left skyline, 11,945-foot Haydon Peak is on the photo’s left
edge and Haydon Col is between Haydon Peak and Elias.
|Located on the Alaska/Yukon border, St. Elias is the second highest peak
in both the United States and Canada. It is the fourth highest peak in
North America. St. Elias is a coastal mountain rising only 10 miles from the
ocean in Icy Bay. Depending on how you count, St. Elias is the highest
coastal mountain in the world. It is certainly the highest coastal mountain
in North America. As if that weren’t enough accolades for one mountain,
St. Elias is the highest peak in Alaska’s huge Wrangell-St. Elias National
Park and the highest peak in Alaska’s Yakutat Borough. Hammered
by incessant storms that swirl through the Gulf of Alaska, St. Elias has
a reputation for bad weather. This fact combined with the peak’s
steep slopes makes St. Elias the toughest high mountain in North America.
|I climbed Haydon Peak in 1984 during an unsuccessful attempt on Elias.
I finally made it up Elias via the south ridge in May 2000 to finish my ascents
of North America’s ten highest peaks. Elias was the hardest of the ten.
|– Gerry Roach