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Frenchmen Establish Major Line in Yukon

News Flash: The following news flash is a preliminary report posted as a service to our readers. Alpinist has not confirmed the veracity of its contents but will post a story in detail when more information becomes available.–Ed.

Four climbers from the Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne climbed a new route on Augusta (4289m) in the St. Elias Range this spring, making what may be the fifth ascent of the mountain.

To reach the base of Augusta’s northeast spur, climbers Sebastien Bohin, Sebastien Moatti, Emmanuel Pellissier and Sebastien Ratel trekked 15 kilometers across a glacier from base camp. They pitched their tents at the foot of the ridge, where they were protected from potential avalanches but exposed to rockfall, compelling them to sleep with their helmets on tight.

Starting up the spur, the team benefited from well-established tracks, having attempted the line three times previously. The team climbed quickly through the poor rock and steep snow, racing the sun to avoid warm, unstable conditions. At 3400m where the northeast spur meets the north summit ridge, the heat caught up with the climbers who were forced to stop and wait out the hottest part of the day.

The team ascended the final 900 meters in three hours, arriving on the main summit late in the day. Their ascent was the first on the mountain in nearly two decades.

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