Mt Crillon, 12,726 ft, lies less than ten miles from the shores of Lituya Bay on the Pacific Ocean and sits in the middle of what is now Glacier Bay National Park and is the second highest peak in the Fairweather Range. It was first climbed via its southern slopes in 1934 by a team led by Bradford Washburn that included Charlie Houston of K2 and high altitude medicine fame. It was not climbed again until in June 1972 a group of Juneau climbers ascended the West Ridge after approaching up the North Crillon Glacier that dumps into the sea at Lituya Bay.
In July 1977, inspired by a Bradford Washburn aerial photo of Crillon’s North Ridge in the 1973 AAC Journal, Walt Vennum, Dave Dahl, Terry Cline, and Bruce Tickell, who had been on the second ascent, flew into Lituya Bay to attempt the North Ridge. After being bombarded by rockfall on a reconnaissance of the 2500 ft wall leading to the ridge crest and noting the dangerous avalanche hazard on the entire north side of the peak, they decided to repeat the West Ridge route. That turned out to be adventure enough and they succeeded in making the second ascent of the route and third of the mountain after 25 days of storms interrupted by climbing. They also got in a little salmon fishing waiting for a flight back to Juneau. Crillon awaits its fourth ascent.
Terry is currently Chairman of the PCS, has been climbing for over 40 years, and loves the Sierra Nevada and the Canadian Rockies, though for very different reasons.