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Climb-p7

That is the account of the Priestley and his team’s trek up the Boomerang Glacier and their climb. However, some questions need some consideration. 

  • How far did they go up the glacier? 
  • Where did they turn off? 
  • Which peaks did they climb? 

To answer these questions, we need to go back to Priestley’s diaries, both the hand-written field diary and the final typed version. In his writings, Priestley mentions several recognisable geographical features and for some sections of the journey he states distances travelled. With these it is possible to plot his coarse up the glacier. 

 Stating from the bottom of the glacier the features and distances mentioned in Priestley’s book and Diaries are:

  • a)   They travelled up the right-hand side of the glacier;
  • b)   The end of the Northern lateral moraine;
  • c)    The first bend;
  • d)   The second bend;
  • e)   Being able to see both up and down the glacier;
  • f)     Not being able to see the bottom two miles of the glacier;
  • g)    Ice conditions for about 1 mile;
  • h)   They travelled another two miles, but the going was so hard that they moved off the glacier and started to climb;
  • i)     His field diary provides a simple sketch showing they quit the glacier to the right.
  • j)    Reached a peak 3,680 feet above their campsite.

Now, how far they were up the glacier, where they turned off, and the peaks they climbed can be found from the above information. Here Google Earth becomes useful. Knowing they were on the right-hand side of the glacier the points b-f can easily be determined and plotted. The place they left the glacier can be determined by drawing a three-mile  line (points g and h). This is all shown in the figure x, including a circled area where I believe the climbs were made, within this area are several peaks or crags over 4600 feet. Priestly states they climb to 3680 feet above their base camp. Although the height at the base camp is not mentioned, from Google Earth, it appears between 750 and 900 feet depending where the campsite was exactly.  This means the peak climbed was between 4430 and 4580 feet.

This data is shown plotted on a Sattelite view of the Boomerang Glacier--the courtesy of Google Earth. The path taken by Priestley and his team from their base camp centrally located at the mouth of the glacier can now be traced.
















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