Situated in the heart of Kluane National Park, just 15 kilometres (about 10 miles) away from the Alaskan border, Mount Logan is an absolute behemoth.
Reaching almost 6,000 metres (19,000 feet) in elevation, the glaciated peak is the highest point in Canada, the sixth most prominent mountain in the world and one of the largest by base circumference.
Since it was first climbed almost 100 years ago, it has become a popular destination for experienced mountaineers looking for an immersive adventure and eclectic climbing experience.
Those heading to the popular western flank will need to hike, ski and climb up to the peak’s extreme summit, which has recorded temperatures of −77.5 °C (−107.5 °F).
Quick Facts about Mount Logan
- At almost 6,000 metres (19,700 feet) in elevation, Mount Logan is the tallest mountain in Canada and the second highest in North America. Due to tectonic uplifting, the mountain is still growing.
- Mount Logan is named after Sir William Edmond Logan, the founder of the Canadian Geological Survey and an influential museum builder.
- Mount Logan is thought to have the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain in the world.
History of Mount Logan
Mount Logan was first climbed in 1925 by a team of Canadian, British and American mountaineers who had been approached by a geologist.
The plan had been to climb the peak the year before, but a lack of funding led to the ascent being delayed. The team of climbers reached the summit of Logan on June 23, after making a 65 day approach and ascent of the peak. They took what is now known as the Kings Trench Route.
The infamous East Ridge Route was first climbed by a team of three Americans more than 50 years later. The team reached the summit after making the long and strenuous vertical ascent on July 19, 1957.
Experience Required for Climbing Mount Logan
Mount Logan is both a physically and technically challenging mountain to climb. Due to its remote nature and immense prominence, both the approach to the mountain is taxing and the ascent is slow, as ample time is needed to acclimate.
Even on the less challenging Kings Trench Route, climbers will need to hike, ski (or splitboard) and climb, all while hauling their own gear and helping with the communal gear. The East Ridge Route requires a high degree of technical ice climbing ability.
Most guides require all participants to have previous experience at high altitude prior to booking the trip and many require participants to book a pre-trip training course that involves skiing and hiking with heavy packs.
Main Routes up Mount Logan
There are two main routes that lead up to the summit of Mount Logan: the Kings Trench Route and the East Ridge Route.
The Kings Trench Route is the easier of the two routes. It generally begins with a flight onto the Quintino Sella Glacier. From here, climbers will mostly ski to the summit up the glacier system on the western flank of the mountain.
The East Ridge Route is a far more grueling and technical route, but quite popular among experienced mountaineers. This route involved perhaps the best alpine wall climb in all of North America; a 4,000 vertical metre (13,100 feet) ascent leads to the mountains east ridge. After this epic climb a short scramble along the ridge brings you to the summit.
Aside from these routes, there are four others that have been taken to the summit (Warbler Ridge, West Ridge, South-Southwest Ridge, North Ridge), none of which are used very often commercially.