Flatland climbers in Saskatchewan – the flattest province in the country – will attempt to climb a towering mountain in Yukon.
Steve Whittington and his team plan to scale the unconquered Mount Saskatchewan. The mountain is part of a range in Yukon’s Kluane National Park where each peak is named after one of Canada’s provinces.
He said he can only guess what his province’s namesake has in store. But he’s determined that his team will be the first to stand on its summit.
"You prepare with intensity all the time," said Whittington. "It's the only unclimbed peak in this range. We feel we need to do it for Saskatchewan!" he said.
At 3,500 metres, the peak isn’t tall by mountaineering standards, but it’s extremely difficult and dangerous. It’s surrounded by crevassed glaciers, is prone to avalanches and the summit is guarded by steep faces of rock and ice.
"It starts to look mean - it gets looking fairly vertical," said Whittington.
While hailing from the flatlands, Whittington and his team bring an impressive climbing resume – they’ve climbed some of the world’s biggest peaks.
They won’t be the first climbers from Saskatchewan to try the climb. Climbers from the Saskatchewan Alpine Club tried, but failed, in 1967.
"For us there is unfinished business for the club and the province."
Whittington and his team begin climbing on May 18.
If all goes well, the green and yellow of Saskatchewan’s provincial flag will be flying on the summit a few days later.