Solo climber on Yukon’s Mount Logan awaits rescue after earthquakes

Mountaineer pinned by weather, quakes in Yukon

WHITEHORSE — A climber trapped on Canada’s highest mountain was uninjured, healthy and has a good supply of food and fuel, a Parks Canada spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Natalia Martinez of Argentina was making a solo ascent of Mount Logan but her plans were disrupted by two powerful earthquakes that jolted the Alaska Panhandle and southwestern Yukon early Monday.

Parks Canada’s Christine Aikens said in an interview the quakes generated avalanches and caused glacial ice to fall in the area of the woman’s camp, which is at 3,900-metre level on the East Ridge of Mount Logan.

She said the visitor safety team from Kluane National Park in Haines Junction was working with Martinez to develop a plan to get her off the mountain.

“Weather conditions in the icefields are poor and are preventing any access to the area,” Aikens said in a news release issued later Wednesday.

An official with the company that flew the 37-year-old to the east ridge of Mount Logan several weeks ago said the experienced climber moved her camp to a safer area and was in good shape.

“She had ascended the hardest part of the route when those earthquakes hit, so there was a lot of avalanches and rock fall,” said Sian Williams of Icefield Discovery. 

“We were very happy to hear that she was safe when we heard from her the morning after the earthquake.”

She said Martinez was dealing with stormy weather and heavy snow that could prevent any rescue until Thursday or Friday. 

The route taken by Martinez is also highly technical, meaning few other climbers are close by, Williams said.

“It’s a more technical route. Most people would be on the ‘C’ route, which is up the King Trench, (that’s) still a very hard expedition, but yeah, Natalia is taking it to another level, doing a solo ascent,” she said.

Aikens said there are two other groups in the icefields of Kluane National Park and Reserve, and one of them is on the mountain.

An average of 25 climbers attempt to summit the mountain every year, but Aikens says solo attempts are rare.

(CKRW, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Painful Truth: The best bad ideas for next year’s columns

To provoke discussion, you have to first provoke.

Langley realtor uses Monopoly tournament to add to refugee group’s community chest

A fundraising tournament could be the start of an annual tradition.

Hankering for a piece of Star Wars?

A massive Star Wars memorabilia collection is going on the auction block in Langley.

Supreme Court of Canada rules in human-rights case involving Langley firm

The case involved two people working for separate contractors on a Delta road project.

Langley Rotarians work for clinics in Kenya

Local Rotary Clubs are asking locals to think of others at Christmastime.

VIDEO: Recovering addict shares art and story to motivate others

A Langley City man spends time each day painting in McBurney Plaza.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Missing Alberta man could be headed to Victoria

Police in Alberta say Vernon “Allan” Pickard has not been heard from since late November

Cineplex charges extra at some Star Wars screenings

Fans are getting a surprise twist at the box office with extra $1 charges for assigned seating

Toddler sent to hospital following dog bite at Vancouver Island daycare

Malamute/husky cross involved in incident at 1200-block of Burnside Rd. West

Most Read