/ Greenland expedition advice
Myself and a team of around 7 climbers will be sailing from Stormoway, Scotland to Greenland next summer. Four members of the party have already made a similar expedition to the Cape Farewell region and made several first accents in the area.
We are currently looking to visit the southern area but are interested to know if there are any area's or peaks that people have heard of or seen that would justify visiting the another region. We are looking for big wall or apline style first accents.
Also is there any unclimbed lines people have heard of/seen but are not looking to attempt themselves?
I would appreciate any help or suggestions you can offer.
I would recommend contacting Lyndsey Griffin. He helped us out hugely with our trip in 2008. A wealth of knowledge and an extremely friendly, helpful bloke.
Sounds like a good venture.
Be wary of the approaches and access to the glaciers. Some can be awkward with no easy means of getting yourself and your kit onto it. ie. a vertical end to the snout or steep precipitous cliffs gaurding the edges.
Maps can be variable, sat-phots tend to go out of date quickly especially around the more mobile regions of the glaciers and with different years snow accumulations.
This is why a lot of teams fly onto the glaciers inland.
Expect hard blue rippled ice at lower altitudes. We found pulks were very toublesome on this stuff and semi rigid crampons experienced metal fatigue after many hours of slogging away.
Have several contingency plans at hand.
Have a good time.
Thanks very much guys.
Really appreciate the advice.
Did you take pulks from your drop off point on one long expedition? Or did you have a base camp and spend days away?
The original plan was to take everything from the coast to the snout of the glacier and then access the higher plateau for ski touring and mountaineering. This involved humping stupidly heavy rucksacks in relays from the "road" (= dirt track).
The glacier was very steep fronted and access was essentially a low grade ice climb. The rippling ridge effect of the ice meant that the pulks wedged nose down in the troughs and would not pull forward easily if at all, they went sideways a treat!. Hence we ended up carrying them, which sort of defeated the purpose. The snowline had retreated much further up the glacier then was anticipated, so again the skis were carried.
After 3 days of hacking it up the blue ice, we called it quits. The original plan was to go up one glacier and return via another, but we decided that the second glacier looked more gnarly than the first in the satphot and we would be low on food, fuel and time at that stage.
Change of plan!
Ditched the pulks and skis, gained access to the interior via the rock ridges bordering the glaciers. Hard going but at least you felt progress was being made. Problem was that the ridge lines are sheer above the ice and getting onto the glaciers this way is a bit hit and miss as well as loose and err..well never been tried before most likely.
Several attempts later, we ditched that plan and did an overland trip connecting the ridges and any peaks we could find.
So a bit of an adventure. Frustrating and knackering but looking back it was educational. We set off with great ideas but with no real feel for the terrain. Reality was painful at times.
The second trip was further North. More snow. Flew onto the plateau. Stepped off the plane onto snow. Ski-ing with pulk within half an hour of touchdown. On this one we manhauled to good basecamps and ticked off likely looking peaks. Costly but no non-sense.
Hope this helps.
Thanks very much Sean, Will take this into account for sure.
We will definitely be using a boat for part of the trip (boat being built specifically for Greenland/Norway ventures) but travels across land may have to be reconsidered.
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