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Mount Logan: Canada's highest peak

The mountains of Canada are an outdoor playground for traveling locum tenens doctors. Although it may be a ways off the beaten path, Mount Logan towers above them all.

Canada's highest peak

Located in the Kluane National Park in the westernmost part of the Yukon Territory, Mount Logan rises two miles above the surrounding terrain. A dozen peaks thrust up from a glacial plateau that stretches more than 12 miles in length and three miles wide. It's the single largest ice sheet outside of Earth's polar ice caps, and the tallest peaks are nearly 20,000 feet high at the summit.

Bagging the summit

Tackling Mount Logan is an expedition, not a weekend outing. Climbers are generally flown by helicopter or ski-equipped small, fixed-wing aircraft from Haines, Alaska.

International Mountain Guides, a Washington, U.S.-based mountaineering training and guide group, suggests that climbers start at 9,000 feet for the three-week trip to the summit and back. It's 16 miles from base camp to the top, and the guide service strongly recommends that climbers have previous cold weather expedition experience before making the attempt.

How to prepare

Mount Logan is not a highly technical ascent. There are no rock or steep ice climbing pitches. However, roped glacier navigation and long skiable sections make for an interesting alpine adventure. Skill and experience with these techniques aren't required, but will certainly be valuable on the expedition.

International Mountain Guides stress that expedition applicants must be in excellent physical condition. We're talking serious work at high altitudes with 50 pounds or more of gear. And the glacial weather can be fierce.

If you're considering a locum tenens assignment in Canada and want to tackle one of the world's most distinctive peaks, Mount Logan awaits. Start training now to ensure that your body and skills are ready for the challenge.

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