Mount Fairweather, British Columbia/Alaska

Prominence: 12963 ft, 3951 m

Elevation: 15,325 feet, 4671 meters

True Isolation: 124.45 mi, 200.28 km
Alternate Name(s)Boundary Peak 164
SubpeaksMount Fairweather-Northeast Peak (12,431 ft/3789 m)
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)58° 54' 23'' N; 137° 31' 36'' W
58.906377, -137.526533 (Dec Deg)
354473E 6532375N Zone 8 (UTM)
United States
State/ProvinceBritish Columbia (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionHoonah-Angoon (Highest Point)
Stikine Region (Highest Point)

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Other Web Sites
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Lists that contain Mount Fairweather:
     Southeast Alaska Peaks with 2000 feet of Prominence (Rank #1)
     All Canada County/Census Division High Points (Rank #2)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #5)
     North America 14,000-foot Peaks (Rank #30)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #6)
     Western USA CoHPs (Rank #4)
     Most Prominent Peaks of Canadian Provinces (Rank #2)
     Canada Peaks with over 7000 feet of Prominence (Rank #2)
     United States 13,750-foot Peaks (Rank #13)
     U.S. County High Points over 13,000 feet (Rank #4)
     USA Peaks with 6000 feet of Prominence (Rank #4)
     CoHP High Five List (Rank #4)
     USA/Canada Peaks with 7000 feet of Prominence (Rank #5)
     Alaska Borough/Census Area High Points (Rank #4)
     Canada Province/Territory High Points (Rank #2)
     Alaska Peaks with 5000 feet of Prominence (Rank #2)
     World Top 100 by Prominence (Rank #27)
     World Top 50 by Prominence (Rank #27)
     U.S. National Park High Points (Rank #3)
     The USA Second Lap List (Rank #1)
     British Columbia Peaks with over 1500 meters of Prominence (Rank #1)
     British Columbia Regional District High Points (Rank #1)
     British Columbia 11,000-foot Peaks (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Not Won in a Day: Climbing Canada's Highpoints (Bennett)

Selected Trip Reports from this site:
     2008-06-15 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)
     2014-05-16 by James Barlow (Unsuccessful)
     2014-05-16 by Greg Slayden (Unsuccessful) (GPS Track)

View ascents of peak by registered members (17 total)

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Mount Fairweather
     Elevation Ladder from Mount Fairweather
     Prominence Ladder from Mount Fairweather

Among climbers, Mount Fairweather holds the unofficial distinction of the worst-named mountain on earth. The peak is lashed by near-constant snowstorms, and even getting a good view of its icy form is notoriously difficult. When explorer James Cook gave the peak it's name in 1778, he was offshore during a rare period of clear skies.

By any measure, Fairweather is one of the world's major summits. It is the third most prominent peak in the United States (after McKinley and Rainier), as well as the highest and most prominent peak in the large, extremely mountainous expanse of British Columbia. Rising almost directly out of the ocean, it contends with nearby Mount Saint Elias for the title of highest coastal mountain on earth.

The major obstacle to an ascent of Fairweather is, of course, the weather. These days, aircraft are permitted to land at an elevation of about 9,000 feet near the Grand Plateau Glacier, allowing a relatively quick ascent via the West Ridge if you are lucky and get a settled high-pressure cell. However, many purists might question starting this high--it is roughly analagous to climbing McKinley by flying in to the 14,000-foot camp, or Rainier by flying in to Camp Muir.

It is quite possible to climb Fairweather from sea level during an expedition of a few weeks or so, so flying in to high camp robs you of an opportunity for a unique sea-to-summit experience. Still, given its remoteness and bad weather, any ascent of this peak is a significant achievement no matter where the climb starts. At most, only several parties a year attempt it.

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Mount Fairweather and its west peak from the landing spot on the Grand Plateau Glacier (2008-06-11).
Click here for larger-size photo.
Web Map LinksAcme Mapper   MyTopo   Gmap4   Toporama
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ProminenceKey Col Page  (Detailed prominence information)
  Clean Prominence: 12,963 ft/3951 m
  Optimistic Prominence: 13,028 ft/3971 m
  Line Parent: Mount Steele
  Key Col: Champagne, YT, Canada     2362 ft/720 m
Isolation124.45 mi/200.28 km
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Mount Vancouver-Good Neighbor Peak  (NW)
Isolation Limit Point: 60° 19' 58'' N; 139° 41' 13'' W
    ILP Map Links:
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RangesContinent: North America
Range2: Alaska-Yukon Ranges
Range3: Saint Elias Mountains
Range4: Fairweather Range (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Gulf of Alaska
Pacific Ocean
Minor Streams of Canada/SE Alaska
Pacific Ocean
OwnershipLand: Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (Highest Point)
Wilderness/Special Area: Glacier Bay Wilderness Area (Highest Point)
Topo MapMount Fairweather D-5 I58137g3 1:63,360
First AscentJune 08, 1931
Allen Carpe
Terris Moore
Google Maps Dynamic Map

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