Barbeau Peak, Nunavut

Prominence: 2616 m, 8583 ft

Elevation: 2616 meters, 8583 feet

True Isolation: 753.05 km, 467.92 mi
Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)81° 54' 53'' N, 75° 0' 33'' W
81.914784, -75.009282 (Dec Deg)
499854 E 9095317 N, Zone 18 (UTM)
State/ProvinceNunavut (Highest Point)
County/Second Level RegionQikiqtaaluk-Baffin (Highest Point)

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Other Web Sites
     Barbeau Peak at
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     Weather for Barbeau Peak at
     Ice Trek Ellesmere Island Expedition
     Commercial Expedition to Barbeau Peak
     Barbeau Peak Trip Report 2010 by Dave Green
     Trip Report - Barbeau Peak 1998
     Barbeau Peak Trip Report 2010 by Rich McAdams

Lists that contain Barbeau Peak:
     Combined USA-Canada-Mexico State/Province High Points (Rank #46)
     North America Range3 High Points (Rank #39)
     USA/Canada Peaks with 7000 feet of Prominence (Rank #25)
     USA/Canada Range4 High Points (Rank #103)
     North America Peaks with 200 km of Isolation (Rank #14)
     North America Peaks with 2000 meters of Prominence (Rank #31)
     Ultras of North America (Rank #31)
     World Peaks with 300 km of Isolation (Rank #125)
     World Island High Points above 2000 meters (Rank #37)
     Canada Sampler List (Rank #19)
     Most Prominent Peaks of Canadian Provinces (Rank #3)
     Canada Province/Territory High Points (Rank #5)
     EPIC List - Provinces/Territories of Canada (Rank #6)
     Most Isolated Peaks of Canada Provinces (Rank #2)
     Principal Heights of Canada (Rank #44)
     All Canada County/Census Division High Points (Rank #27)
     High Points of the Arctic (Rank #3)
     Canada Peaks with over 7000 feet of Prominence (Rank #11)
     Canada Peaks with 200 km of Isolation (Rank #2)
     Canada National Park High Points (Rank #10)
     Canada Island High Points (Rank #1)
     Nunavut Region High Points (Rank #1)
(Peak is on over 20 lists; Not all shown here.)

Selected Guidebook(s) for this Peak:
       Not Won in a Day: Climbing Canada's Highpoints (Bennett)

Ascent Info

Total ascents/attempts logged by registered users: 12
     Show all viewable ascents/attempts (Total: 12)

Selected Trip Reports:
     1998-06-15 by Greg Slayden (GPS Track)
     2017-06-18 by Brian Friedrich (GPS Track)
     2017-06-18 by Eric Gilbertson
     2017-06-18 by Brian Friedrich
     2017-06-18 by Eric Gilbertson

Nearby Peak Searches:
     Radius Search - Nearest Peaks to Barbeau Peak
     Elevation Ladder from Barbeau Peak
     Prominence Ladder from Barbeau Peak


Barbeau Peak, the apex of Ellesmere Island, is the highest mountain in the Canadian Arctic Islands. There is no higher land closer to the north pole, just 550 miles away over mostly ocean.

Barbeau is often called the highest mountain in eastern North America, but that ignores Greenland and the Caribbean Islands, both of which have higher peaks. It would be technically accurate to call it the highest mountian in eastern Canada and the United States, but it lies so far north that traditional notions of "eastern" are largely meaningless.

The mountain was named in 1969 for Dr. Marius Barbeau (1883-1969), a Canadian anthropologist whose researches into the Indian and Inuit cultures helped preserve them from oblivion and gained him international acclaim.

This largely snow-covered peak rises from vast icecaps remininscent of Antarctica. The ascent is relatively easy from the north, and the main difficulty in ascending the peak is extreme remoteness. Getting to the base of Barbeau Peak via air charter service is very expensive.


1961Geoffrey Hattersley-Smith and party make the first ascent of Mount Whisler, second highest peak on Ellesmere, and see a distant peak they think might be higher.
1962Hattersley-Smith, Paul Atkinson, and pilot Dick de Blicquy fly past Barbeau Peak and their airplane altimeter tells them it it likely the highest on the island.
1967-06-05First ascent by Dicky Bird, Trevor Mann, Mike Shannon, and Brian Keegan of the R.A.F, with Keith Arnold, via the north ridge. The same day, Geoffrey Hattersley Smith, Uwe Embacher, Bruce Reid (RAF) and Bob Lewis (RAF) also gained the summit, via the south ridge after a west ridge attempt and traverse of the southwest face. This effort was a joint ascent by members of a Royal Air Force expedition and a Defence Research Board party doing glaciological work. They used snowmobiles for the approach.
1982, May/JuneAscent by Allan Errington and Albro, Piercy, Robinson, Shadd, and Trafton via north ridge; by Petrie and Williams via west ridge (first ascent of that route). This party climbed many other summits in the range near Barbeau, naming them after famous ships used in Arctic exploration. See AAJ 1983.
1992-07-07Ascent by Australians Eric Phillips, Richard Smith, and Nick Fairfax as part of a 300-km ski traverse of Ellesmere Island. Apparently Phillips and Farfax climbed the south ridge, and Smith, after injuring his ankle, climbed to the summit by another ridge, possibly the north ridge.
1996Attempt on peak by David Graber and expedition, turned back due to bad weather.
1998-06-15Ascent by Candians Tony Daffern and Pete Ford, with American Greg Slayden, via north ridge after a west ridge attempt and northwest face traverse. Later that same day Americans Jack Bennett, Dan Bennett, William Salter, Dave Rotheroe, and Tom Budlong of the same expedition attained the summit via the north ridge. With this climb, Jack Bennett became the first to climb all 13 Canadian province/territory highpoints. Daffern, Slayden, Ford, Bennett, and Bennett skied from high on the north ridge, possibly the first ski descent of the peak.
2000Ascent by Jerry Kobalenko, Canadian sled-traveller.
2002-05Ascent by Matty McNair from the USA; Paul Crowley, Ben Ellis, Emily Edwards, Fernand Noel and Elizabeth van Eyken from Canada; Robert Kimsey and Peter Roberts from the UK; and the Italian Paolo Gardino. This was a commerical expedition that climbed via the northeast ridge.
2002-06Ascent by Americans Jonas Cabiles, Pete Dronkers and Blue Eisele. The approach was from the west, and they descended on skis (Caliles, Eisele) and snowboard (Dronkers).
2010-06-27Ascent by Americans Jack Bennett (his 2nd ascent), his son Tom Bennett (completing the 13 Canadian province/territory high points), Billie Butterfield, Sue Richman, Mitch Sheldon, Dave Green, Rich McAdams, and Donna Calhoun. Their route was from the south, overland from Tanquary Fiord, and was hampered by stream crossings and glacial meltwater.

The broad north summit ridge of Barbeau Peak (1998-06-15).
Web Map LinksPeakfinder Panorama
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Prominence  Clean Prominence: 2616 m/8583 ft
  Optimistic Prominence: 2616 m/8583 ft
  Key Col: Arctic Ocean    0 m/0 ft
IsolationIsolation Page  (Detailed isolation information)
   Distance: 753.05 km/467.92 mi
   Isolation Limit Point: 77.267854, -46.997483
Nearest Higher Neighbor in the PBC database:
    Greenland Ice Cap High Point  (ESE)
RangesContinent: North America
Range2: North America Arctic Islands
Range3: Queen Elizabeth Islands (Highest Point)
Range4: Ellesmere Island (Highest Point)
Range5: British Empire Range (Highest Point)
Drainage Basins
Nares Strait
Baffin Bay
Arctic Ocean
Arctic-North America Islands
Arctic Ocean
IslandEllesmere Island (Highest Point)
OwnershipLand: Quttinirpaaq National Park (Highest Point)
Topo Map 340 D/15 1:50,000
First AscentJune 05, 1967
    Hattersley-Smith, Geoffrey
Route #1 Snow Climb: North Ridge
Trailhead: Ellesmere Icecap (Airplane Flight) 1554 m/5098 ft
Vertical Gain: 1062 m/3485 ft
Data SourceGPS Reading or LIDAR
Dynamic Map

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Other Photos

Pete Ford takes the final steps to the summit of Barbeau Peak. View looks north (1998-06-15).

Camp on Ellesmere Island, after crossing a meltstream of the Air Force Glacier (1998-06).

The Air Force glacier and valley on Ellesmere Island's tundra (1998-06).

An unnamed glacier descends from an unnamed ice cap to the Air Force valley of Ellesmere Island (1998-06).

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