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Expedition Unknown

  • Mazama Mountaineering Center 527 Southeast 43rd Avenue Portland, OR, 97215 United States (map)

In the spirit of true exploration, Katie Mills, Nick Pappas, and Wojtek and Amy Pagacz flew into an unknown valley in the Nahanni National Park Reserve of the Northwest Territories of Canada with no photos no maps and no information other than a youtube video flyover correlated to Google Earth. The weather was terrible, the rock was even worse, but despite the adversity some hard won first ascents were had. Come hear and see about the mountains they did and didn't climb in the surreal incredible valley they were the first to explore. This expedition was funded by the 2018 Mazamas Bob Wilson Grant.


The first difficulty lay in simply figuring out where to setup basecamp. After they flew in, numerous scouting missions were made to explore the valley, then specific scouting missions to find climbable lines on the peaks. Amy and Wojtek were able to summit two peaks via a steep glacier ice couloir, Nick free soloed a fun moderate peak near camp, and Nick and Katie strived and failed on three spectacularly striking peaks that are still waiting to be climbed! There is probably good climbing in this area but one needs a lot of time and good weather windows to find it. The team mostly found choss, moss, and cracks full of dirt and grass blocking their paths.

Katie Mills is grassroots Mazamas, having taken (and needed) every Mazamas climbing class offered since landing in BCEP in 2006. She enjoys rock, ice, and snow all equally and revels in never having an off season because there is always something to climb.

Nick Pappas learned to trad climb on the difficult cracks of Eldorado Canyon in Colorado and enjoys all the rock disciplines, sport, trad, bouldering and even the occasional big wall adventure.

Amy Pagacz started off as a sport climber at Smith Rock in 2011, then moved to Salt Lake and became a crack climber, but soon found her true love of ice and glaciers back in the PNW.

Wojtek Pagacz learned to rock climb in Newfoundland in 2005 but and soon discovered his love of ice climbing during the winters there as well.

Earlier Event: November 13
Multi-Pitch Efficiency
Later Event: November 14
Good Enough Anchors