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how to find first assent records???

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:44 am
by Rose Hein
So I have kind of a tedious question about first assents.
I can't seem to get a good source--some people mention AAJ or CAJ for Canada (which both seem to be very good at logging first assents), yet I truly have no idea how to use them or what the format is. seems to be pretty user friendly, but I have already found info to be outdated. Plus it just appears that AAJ is a much better reference as far as firsts go.
I suppose I'd like it if someone could educate me better on how to determine if a peak is climbed or not. I know some guys have hundreds of firsts in say AK, but where would one find that info in order to rule those peaks as climbed? I also know this might be a bit of a guarded topic, but figured I'd ask. Any help would be awesome.

Re: how to find first assent records???

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:19 pm
by Tom Pierce

I'll weigh in, just my opinions of course.

First, I'll give the classic lawyer's answer: It depends. Regarding an ascent of what I'll call a "hiking peak," it's entirely possible there is no written record. It was hiked first by possibly native Americans, or later by explorers, surveyors, hikers, ranchers, loggers, you name it. They probably left no public records, and have long since passed away or are no longer active hikers.

That aside, for more significant peaks (either just noteworthy or technical), personally I'd check local guidebooks first, and now websites. There might be passing references to first ascents. But again, some climbers either don't toot their horn about ascents at all, or if they did the record has vanished. For really significant peaks, yes, the AAJ or other alpine club journals might be a good source. I am not aware of a definitive repository of such FA information for North American ascents, it's a bit of detective work.

Just my opinions.


Re: how to find first assent records???

PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:37 am
by Rose Hein
Hey Thanks so much Tom
Yeah, I've done a bit of studying on the topic and yeah, its hard to know exactly. Just wanted opinions in general and you gave me that.
Its hard to know exactly what people like Fred Beckey have done. I'm looking into particular mountains and purchasing guidebooks or whatever I can, but yeah, its pretty hard to tell--especially on the smaller peaks and satellites. If there is any more suggestions out there, please let me know.