Woman plans solo climb of Mount Lo­gan

Lethbridge Herald - - HEADLINE NEWS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — MON­TREAL

A Mon­treal moun­taineer will at­tempt to be­come the first solo woman to climb Canada’s high­est moun­tain in a trek that be­gins next month.

Should Monique Richard reach the sum­mit of Yukon’s Mount Lo­gan, she will be the first fe­male to reach the top by her­self, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials with Parks Canada and data it has com­piled since the late 1800s.

Richard, 43, is an ex­pe­ri­enced climber who has tested her lim­its on some of the world’s high­est moun­tains and has taken part in some 30 as­cents since 2010.

She said she’s con­fi­dent she can make it up Lo­gan — a nearly 6,000-me­tre-high moun­tain she at­tempted un­suc­cess­fully last year af­ter a climb­ing part­ner en­coun­tered dif­fi­cul­ties.

“I sac­ri­ficed the sum­mit to go back down with him for safety rea­sons,” she said. “I was about 12 hours from the top.”

Richard said she has the ben­e­fit of hav­ing al­ready braved Lo­gan and that she’ll be bet­ter equipped with back­coun­try skis in­stead of the snow­shoes she had last year.

“The dif­fi­culty will be the cold, the soli­tude, the fact that I have to bring ev­ery­thing I need my­self,” she said. “I have to do this on my own to test my own lim­its and, some­times, it’s bet­ter to be alone than to be in bad com­pany.”

Scott Ste­wart, visitor safety spe­cial­ist at Klu­ane Na­tional Park where Mount Lo­gan is lo­cated, said an av­er­age of 35 peo­ple a year over the last five years have tried to climb it dur­ing peak sea­son be­tween mid-May and mid-June.

The odds of reach­ing the top stands at about 50-50.

“If a climber’s ob­jec­tive is to (reach the) sum­mit, then it’s less than half of par­ties that are suc­cess­ful at that,” Ste­wart said.

Last year, an Ar­gen­tine climber was forced to abort her own solo climb of Mount Lo­gan’s east ridge when earth­quakes brought down sig­nif­i­cant avalanches.

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