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Mount Fairweather

Mount Fairweather
Mount Fairweather from Glacier Bay, September 2004
Elevation 4,671 m (15,325 ft)[1]
Prominence 3,956 m (12,979 ft)[1]
Ranked 26th
Listing List of Ultras in Canada
List of Ultras in the United States
Mount Fairweather is located in Alaska
Mount Fairweather
Location on Alaska/B.C. border
Location Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska / Stikine Region, British Columbia
Range Fairweather Range
Coordinates [2]
Topo map NTS 114I/13
First ascent June 8, 1931 by Allen Carpé and Terris Moore
Easiest route glacier/snow/ice climb

Mount Fairweather (officially gazetted as Fairweather Mountain in Canada[2] but referred to as Mount Fairweather), is one of the world's highest coastal mountains at 4,671 metres (15,325 feet.) It is located 20 km (12 mi) east of the Pacific Ocean on the border of Alaska, United States and western British Columbia, Canada. Most of the mountain lies within Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in the City and Borough of Yakutat, Alaska (USA), though the summit borders Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park, British Columbia (Canada), making it the highest point in that province. It is also designated as Boundary Peak 164 or as US/Canada Boundary Point #164.[3][4]

The mountain was named on May 3, 1778 by Captain James Cook,[5] apparently for the unusually good weather encountered at the time. The name has been translated into many languages. It was called "Mt. Beautemps" by La Perouse (1786, atlas), "Mte. Buen-tiempo" by Galiano (1802, map 3), "Gor[a]-Khoroshy-pogody" on Russian Hydrographic Dept. Chart 1378 in 1847, and "G[ora] Fayerveder" by Captain Tebenkov (1852, map 7), Imperial Russian Navy. It was called "Schönwetterberg" by Constantin Grewingk in 1850 and "Schönwetter Berg" by Justus Perthes in 1882.[6]

Fairweather was first climbed in 1931 by Allen Carpé and Terris Moore.[6]


Mount Fairweather is located right above Glacier Bay in the Fairweather Range of the Saint Elias Mountains. Mount Fairweather also marks the northwest extremity of the Alaska Panhandle.

Like many peaks in the St. Elias Mountains, Mount Fairweather has great vertical relief due to its dramatic rise from Glacier Bay. However, due to poor weather in the area, this effect is usually obscured with the clouds which often hides the summit from view.

Known in the Tlingit language as Tsalxhaan, it is said this mountain and Yaas'éit'aa Shaa (Mt. St. Elias) were originally next to each other but had an argument and separated. Their children, the mountains in between the two peaks, are called Tsalxhaan Yatx'i (Children of Tsalxaan.)


Despite its name, Mount Fairweather has generally harsh weather conditions. It receives over 100 inches (254 cm) of precipitation each year (mostly snow) and sees temperatures of around -50°F (-46°C).

Dixon Harbor with Mt. Fairweather in the centre, 1925

Climbing history

  • 1931 Colby L. Smith and Terris Moore summited via the Southeast Ridge on June 8, 1931[6]
  • 1958 Paddy Sherman and 7 other Canadians reached the summit via the SE Ridge on June 26, 1958.[7]
  • 1968 West Ridge, Loren Adkins, Walter Gove, Paul Myhre, John Neal and Kent Stokes - summit reached June 12, 1968[8]
  • 1973 Southwest Ridge, Peter Metcalf, Henry Florschutz, Toby O'Brien and Lincoln Stoller. Summit reached on 10 July 1973.[9]

Further reading

  • Sherman, Paddy (1966). Cloud Walkers. MacMillan.  
  • Metcalf, Peter (1974). "The Southwest Ridge of Fairweather". American Alpine Journal (New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club) 19 (48): 19–22.  

See also


  1. ^ a b "Fairweather Mountain". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Fairweather Mountain".  
  3. ^ "Mount Fairweather, British Columbia/Alaska". Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  4. ^ "Mount Fairweather-Northeast Peak, British Columbia". Retrieved 2013-12-22. 
  5. ^ Terris Moore, "Mount Fairweather, Correction", American Alpine Journal 1982, p. 139. He cites Cook and King Voyage to the Pacific Ocean, Volume II, Admiralty, London, 1784, p. 345.
  6. ^ a b c "Mount Fairweather".  
  7. ^ Metcalf, Peter (1974). "The Southwest Ridge of Fairweather". American Alpine Journal (New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club) 19 (48): 19.  
  8. ^ Gove, Walter; Adkins, Loren (1969). "The West Ridge of Mount Fairweather". American Alpine Journal (Philadelphia, PA, USA: American Alpine Club) 16 (43): 390. 
  9. ^ Metcalf, Peter (1974). "The Southwest Ridge of Fairweather". American Alpine Journal (New York, NY, USA: American Alpine Club) 19 (48): 19–22.  

External links

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