Brief Listing Of The First American Mountaineering Camps Led Into The Following
Mountain Regions Around The World By S. John & Jim Ebert:
In 1940, S. John Ebert led
the very first mountaineering club camp into the Northern Wind Rivers Mountain
Range, in Wyoming. Gannett Peak,
Wyoming’s highest, and five other peaks were ascended.
No other trekkers or climbers were seen during this campperiod.
In 1943, S. John Ebert led
a group of 32 members to Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin for a three-week
rock climbing camp. Over 76 new
routes were made throughout the Park.
In 1946, S. John Ebert led
the first American mountaineering camp to the Northern Selkirk’s, British
Columbia, Canada. Forty-two people
participated. Ede Ebert was the first woman to make the first Grand Traverse on
Mount Sir Donald via the Northwest Ridge and descent via the South Ridge and
Face. This was the third ascent.
Seven other peaks were climbed. No
other climbers or trekkers were seen during this camp period.
In 1947, S. John Ebert led
the first mountaineering camp to the Sawtooth Mountain Range of Idaho.
Sixty-four members participated. Twenty mountains were climbed, 18 for the first
time, 2 for the second time. The Iowa Mountaineers named eleven mountains
including Mount Ebert, Mount Ede, Mount Iowa, and Mount Hancher (Named after the
President of the University of Iowa). Women
ascended all of these peaks for the first time. Today, over 160 members have
climbed Warbonnet by four different routes, 112 members have climbed Finger of
Fate by four different routes, and 110 members have climbed Mount Heyburn by
three different routes. No other
climbers or trekkers were seen during this camp period.
In 1948, S. John Ebert led
the Historic First Group Ascent of Devil’s Tower, [Our Nation’s First
National Monument], Wyoming. Eighteen members, including the second woman,
Bonnie Fisher, ascended Devil’s Tower. This
group of Iowa Mountaineers included the first twenty-three people to ever stand
on top of Devil’s Tower. They were also the first to overnight camp on the
summit. Only five other people had
ever climbed Devil’s Tower prior to this historic group ascent.
Today, over 465 Iowa Mountaineer members have climbed Devil’s Tower by
ten different routes. Note 1948 National Geographic Magazine. No other climbers were seen around Devil’s Tower.
In 1949, S. John Ebert and
Arthur Wendler started the first mountaineering course ever offered for
University credit in an American University. The Course was offered for 3 hours
of academic credit and titled, “Outings and Mountaineering”.
Today over 33,000 University of Iowa Students have taken academic courses
taught by Jim Ebert. John Ebert started, at the University of Iowa, what Jim
later developed into the largest outdoor academic training University in the
World. No other university in the world taught more students outdoor skills than
did the University of Iowa. Each
year, over 5500 students left the State of Iowa and traveled to Wisconsin,
Colorado, Arizona and Canada to take Jim Ebert’s outdoor training courses in
mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and winter
mountain survival training. There was not a single injury.
In 1950, S. John Ebert led
the first American mountaineering camp (45 members) into the famous Lake
O’Hara Mountain Area in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta, Canada.
Seven peaks were ascended. Today
over 125 members have climbed Mount Victoria and Mount Lefroy.
No other climbers or trekkers were seen in the Lake O’Hara area.
In 1951, S. John Ebert led
the first group drive, (17 members), up the Alaska Highway to hold a
mountaineering camp in Mount McKinley Park, [Now called Denali National Park]
Alaska. Four peaks were ascended and named for first ascents in the Eastern
Alaska Range. Driving the Alaska highway required great care as it was all
gravel, it had huge potholes and it was very, very dusty.
Wildlife was seen as abundantly as on an African Safari.
Only one vehicle was seen on the Alaska Highway.
In 1952, S. John Ebert led
a group of 12 people on a two week climbing trip to climb all three of the
Mexican Volcanoes. These were some
of the earliest American Club ascents of Mexico’s highest peaks.
There were no paved roads, so driving to Mexico was an adventure in
itself. Tires would have as many as
fifty patches apiece.
In 1953, S. John Ebert led
the very first American mountaineering camp into the world famous Bugaboo
Mountain Range in British Columbia, Canada. Fifty-seven members participated.
Access to this area required bridge building, road repair, tree cutting and
chasing off Grizzlies. Nine peaks were ascended for the very earliest recorded
American ascents. Bugaboo Spire was
climbed by nine members; Snow Patch by two members; Brenta Peak by 13 members;
Crescent Spire by 28 members; Northpost Spire by 12 members; Blue Lake Spire by
4 members; Marmolada by 12 members; Eastpost by 10 members; and Pigeon Spire by
14 members. Today over 86 members
have climbed Bugaboo Spire, 94 members have climbed Pigeon Spire, and 104
members have climbed Snowpatch Spire. No
other trekkers or climbers were seen during this camp.
In 1955, S. John Ebert led
the first major mountaineering camp ever held in the Eastern Alaska Range.
Thirty-six members drove the Alaska Highway and climbed six peaks for
first ascents. Alaska became the Forty Ninth State. Two First Ascents were named
“Mount James” (after John Ebert’s son Jim) located northwest of Black
Rapids Glacier and “Mount Sepp” located southwest of Black Rapids Glacier.
The Alaska Highway was still all gravel and required great care to avoid
huge potholes that could easily destroy your vehicle.
Two dozen vehicles were seen driving the Alaska Highway.
In 1956, S. John Ebert led
the very first American mountaineering camp to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park
in British Columbia, Canada. Fifty-six
members participated. Sixteen peaks were ascended with 23 members climbing Mount
Assiniboine. This total surpassed the total number of climbers that had ascended
Mount Assiniboine during the prior 30 years.
Today, over 125 Iowa Mountaineer members have ascended Mount Assiniboine.
No other trekkers or climbers were seen in this area during this camp.
In 1957, S. John Ebert led
the first American mountaineering camp into the Maligne Lake Mountain Area in
Alberta, Canada. Seventy-five members participated. Fourteen peaks were
ascended. Camp was placed at the far end of the lake near the mouth of Coronet
Creek. No other trekkers or
climbers were seen in this area during this camp.
In 1958, S. John Ebert led
the Nation’s second mountaineering camp to the Clear Lake Area in the Southern
Wind River Range in Wyoming. Fifty-two
members participated. Eighteen peaks were ascended, with members making three
first ascents and two-second ascents. No other trekkers or climbers were seen in
this area during this camp.
In 1961, S. John Ebert led
the first mountaineering climbing camp to the Needles of South Dakota.
Forty-four members participated. Nineteen rock spires were ascended.
Many new routes were made.
In 1961, S. John Ebert led
the second American mountaineering camp to the Quebrada Yanganuco in the
Cordillera Blanca of Peru. Forty-two members participated. Nevado Pisco (19,000
feet) was climbed by 24 men and the first and second women ascents; Nevado
Chopicalqui (21,000 feet) was climbed by 10 men including the first and second
woman ascents and Crispano (19,100 feet) was ascended for a first ascent and
climbed by three people. No other
trekkers or climbers were seen in the area during this camp.
In 1962, S. John Ebert led
the first American mountaineering camp to the Tonquin Valley Mountain Area in
Alberta, Canada. Seventy-seven members participated. Camp was located on the
shores of Amethyst Lake at the foot of the Rampart Range. Nine peaks were
ascended. During this camp period,
a Grizzly Bear charged and severely mauled a Ranger who was approaching his
cabin with horse supplies. The cabin was situated along Amethyst Lake, a few
miles from our camp. This Grizzly
raked the rangers leg open with it’s six inch long claws from his groin to his
ankle as the ranger tried climbing up into a tree to escape certain death.
The Grizzly kept him trapped in this tree for over 24 hours while trying
to chop the tree down with its claws during the night. The Grizzly wandered off
the next day and the ranger was able to radio out for a helicopter evacuation.
This same Grizzly later charged three of our climbing leaders as they were
hiking out of this back region area at the end of our camp ten days later. The
Grizzly abandoned her charge just a few feet from our members who had crawled
into an erosion ditch along the trail in a desperate last resort. The Grizzly
stood over them, growled, but soon departed on her way disappearing into the
mountain forest. No one was injured. The Ranger recovered over time, but the
bear was shot immediately after our group left the area and an autopsy was
performed. A festering bullet wound was discovered in it’s skull. This female
Grizzly’s cub was placed in a Canadian zoo.
No other trekkers or climbers were seen in this area during this camp.
In 1963, the Iowa
Mountaineers sponsored the first rock climbing camp to the Pikes Peak Crags,
Colorado. Seventy-two members participated. Twenty-one first ascents, 12-second
ascents, and over 80 ascents were made, involving over 264 person ascents.
No other climbers were seen in this area during this camp.
In 1965, S. John Ebert led
the first American group into the Quebrada Ishinca in the Cordillera Blanca of
Peru. Forty-four members and eight
porters participated. A first ascent was made on Urus Central (18,028 feet), a
first ascent and three new routes were made on Urus Este; and a first ascent was
made on Urus Este’s Lower Summit; Nevado Ishinca (18,143 feet) was ascended by
32 members and a new route up the Northeast Ridge from the Ishinca-Palcaraju
Col.; Tocllaraju (19,790 feet) was climbed by 24 members; Ranrapalca was climbed
by 15 members; and Palcaraju-Oeste (20,046 feet) was climbed by 3 members. Five
other peaks were each ascended by 20-25 members. No other mountaineers were seen
in this area during our camp period.
In 1966, the Iowa
Mountaineers held the first mountaineering club camp to be held in the Beartooth
Mountain Range in Montana. Eighty
members participated. High camps were set up throughout the Beartooth Range.
Twelve mountains were ascended including the first and second ascents of
Harvey’s Spire (11,300 feet), and Scotch Peak (11,500 feet). A second ascent
was made on Beartooth Spire. A fifth ascent and a new route was made on the
Northeast Ridge of Index Peak (11,741 feet). Over 234 person ascents were made
on 12 major peaks. No other
climbers were seen in this area during our camp.
In 1967, S. John Ebert led
the largest foreign climbing group to ever visit the Ruwenzori Mountain Range in
Uganda, Africa. This was one of the
first American groups to have ever climbed in this area. Over thirty-three
people climbed seven peaks in the Ruwenzori; later, the group climbed Mount
Kenya in Kenya, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet) in Tanzania.
No other mountaineers were seen during our trip.
In 1969, S. John and Jim
Ebert led the second American group into the Quebrada Quilcayhuampa Valley in
the Cordillera Blanca in Peru with 63 members. Ten peaks were ascended including
Chincey (20,413 feet) and two first ascents.
Twenty-three members ascended Nevado Hauscaran (22,220 feet) including
the second and third woman ascents. Jim
Ebert was, at the time, the youngest climber to have ever ascended Hauscaran’s
other climbers or trekkers were seen during our trip.
In 1970, the Iowa
Mountaineers sponsored the second climbing camp to the Big Horn Mountains of
Wyoming. Eleven peaks were ascended and 16 new routes were recorded.
No other climbers or trekkers were seen during our camp.
In 1972, S. John and Jim
Ebert led a group of 46 members into the Quebrada Santa Cruz and the Quebrada
Ulta in the Cordillera Blanc in Peru. This was the first American mountaineering
group to visit these two areas. A new route was made on Chopicalqui (21,000
feet) by Ron Fear, Jim Ebert and three others; two new routes on Rinrahirca by
the Northeast face and the North Ridge; a new route on Taulliraju by the
Northeast Ridge and a new route was made on Contahierbas.
Sixteen members ascended Nevado Hauscaran (22,220 feet). No other
climbers or trekkers were seen during our camp.
In 1973, Jim Ebert taught
the Nation’s first one week Top Rope Instructor Certification Course taught at
Devil’s Lake State Park, Wisconsin. Today over 3500 outdoor educators have
completed this intensive Top Rope Instructor Certification Course.
In 1976, Jim Ebert led the
first American Mountaineering Camp to the Lake of the Hanging Glaciers in the
Purcell Mountain Range in British Columbia, Canada. Fifty-five members
participated. Seven peaks were ascended. No other climbers or trekkers were seen
during our camp period.
In 1978, S. John and Jim
Ebert led a group of sixty-five members into the Quebrada Honda in the
Cordillera Blanca in Peru. This was
only the second time an American mountaineering camp had visited this area. Over
ten peaks were climbed. Many of
these peaks were ascended for only the second or third ascents.
Many of these peaks were climbed for the first time by women.
No other climbers or trekkers were seen during our camp.
In 1979, Jim Ebert led a
group of thirty-seven Iowa Mountaineers into the Farnham Creek/Commander Glacier
Area in the Purcell Range in British Columbia, Canada.
This was the first American Club to visit this area. Thirty-seven
climbers ascended Mount Commander (twelve making a grand traverse); twenty
climbed the Cleaver, fourteen ascended Mount May, nine ascended Mount Delphine;
four the Eastern Guardsman; seven Mount Jumbo; and nineteen an unnamed peak at
the end of the valley. No other climbers or trekkers were seen in this area during
In 1981, S. John and Jim
Ebert led the largest mountaineering camp to ever climb in the Cordillera Blanca
in Peru. Over 61 members, eight
porters, set up camp in the Quebrada Rurec. This was the first major
mountaineering camp to climb in this area. Rurec 1, a first ascent, was climbed
by 31 members; Rurec 2 (17,480 feet) a first ascent, was ascended by 39 members;
Rurec 3 (17,556 feet), a third ascent, was ascended by 32 members; Nevado Rurec
(18,000 feet) was ascended by a new route directly up the South Face; Kashan
(18,885 feet) was climbed by a new route; Cerro Pumahuagangan (16,948 feet) was
climbed for a first ascent; Urushraja (18,925 feet) was climbed for a second
ascent; Uruashraju Chico (17,820 feet) was ascended by a new route; and the
Lower Peak of Urushraja was ascended for a first ascent.
Seven peaks recorded the first woman ascents. No other trekkers or
climbers were seen in this area during our camp. Twenty-four members reached the
summit of Nevado Hauscaran (22,220 feet). [Today, over 225 Iowa Mountaineer
members have reached the summit of Nevado Hauscaran (22,220 feet), Peru’s
highest peak, including the second and third woman ascents.
The Iowa Mountaineers have ascended over 120 peaks above 17,800 feet in
Peru’s Cordillera Blanca since 1961.]
In 1982, S. John and Jim
Ebert led a group to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet). This was
the Iowa Mountaineers fifth trip to East Africa and to the summit of Mount
Kilimanjaro. The Club set two world
records; getting 38 out of 40 climbers to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro at the
same time; and the most climbers on top at one time out of the group that had
originally set off to ascend the mountain. No other hikers were seen ascending
the mountain when we were on the mountain. [Today, after many trips to Africa
and to Mount Kilimanjaro, over 275 Iowa Mountaineer members have reached Mount
Kilimanjaro’s (19,340 foot) summit, Africa’s highest mountain.]
In 1983, Jim Ebert led the
first American mountaineering club camp of 46 members into the Quebrada
Rajucolta in the Cordillera Blanca in Peru. Two high camps were used, one at the
base of Yawarraju (18,616 feet), the other above Lake Tambillo to the North. One
hundred people ascended summits on six different peaks over 18,000 feet. Many
peaks recorded the first woman ascents. Twenty-two people ascended Nevado
Huascaran, (22,220 feet) Peru’s highest peak.
No other climbers or trekkers were seen in this area during our camp.