Glacier Bay Climbing Expedition
Mount Orville (3199m) is a fine looking peak rising from the Johns Hopkins Glacier, and although it was once climbed from the south, the climbers who made the ascent were killed while descending. This team hoped to make the first ascent of the NE Spur-N Ridge, which rises 2800m in a distance of 8 km. They were dropped by ski-plane into deep powder snow at c.1200m on the West shoulder of Mt Abbe (2667m), which gave them easy access to the 8 km ridge. On the fourth day of their attempt, they reached a fore-summit at c.2460m which gave them a fine view of the upper mountain, but from here the route appeared to be extremely serious – rocky on both sides, with a very exposed cornice-encrusted knife-edge arête. With a weather front approaching, they decided to call it a day, and reversed the terrain climbed so far. Later, they attempted an unclimbed 2257m snow summit south of Mt Abbe, approaching from the NW, and reaching a fore-peak at c.2280m. Further progress would have entailed a steep drop off and the ascent of a steep couloir covered in unstable powder snow, so they elected to retreat, escaping the region by ski-plane just ahead of a forecast storm.