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First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”
From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)

Canadian mountaineers Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola have become the first to summit the Yukon’s Mt. Lucania, the third highest peak in Canada.

The expedition reached the summit on April 26, and have safely descended to a lower camp. Their journey will continue this week.

“We woke to a full moon rising over the Lucania ridge with pinks, purples and magentas,” said Marceau, in a dispatch after the summit journey. “It was a beautiful start to what was going to be a beautiful day.”

“As we made our way up the foreboding ridge we had been staring at we realized it was actually fun … our hearts were singing, with what we thought would be the hardest part behind us, the summit felt obtainable,” she said.

“We feel so grateful for the calm and clear day that we had,” she said. “Thanks Luciana … You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

The duo spent around 45 minutes on the peak, thanks to calm and warm weather that didn’t rush the descent down.

Marceau and Capozzola left Whitehorse on April 11, after two weeks of quarantine. They planned to be out for 16 days in Kluane National Park, but in order to plan for weather delays, they have supplies to last 22 days.

The all-woman team received a Women’s Expedition Grant from the Royal Canadian Geographic Society for their attempt to summit Mt. Lucania. The expedition was also sponsored by the Society of Women Geographers.

The first ascent of Mt. Lucania, which stands at 5,226 metres, was made in 1937 by Bradford Washburn and Robert Hicks Bates. The area is notorious for heavy snowfall and unpredictable storms.

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