Asgard Project Successby Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com Sep/2009
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Alastair Lee reports from Baffin:
"After 12 days of suffering in sub zero temperatures, in the shade 23 hours a day and weathering severe ice storms we succeeding in getting Al, Chris, Jas, Stanley and Leo to the top of the wall. The harsh conditions and incredibly steep blank nature of the rock only allowed us to free half the route but given the situation and time of year (the summer is short up here it is now autumn) we are over the moon that we made it to the top. It has been brutal thank god we all had the right kit otherwise frost-nip and hyperthermia would have had us by now.
Mount Asgard is named after the realm of the Norsk gods. It feels like those gods having been toying with us the whole time. After a savage ice storm that left 4cm of haw frost on all the ropes and brought the first discussions of retreat we were treated to an insane display of the northern lights and enough fine weather to finish the route. On the summit a snowy owl swooped right by to check us out. A positive sign. On the final stage of the rappell the gods sent us off with 10 cm of snow. The wall is now unclimbable. Asgard allowed us to the top but by the skin of our teeth.
It has been such a hard experience for all of us and we are physically and psycologically exhausted. My hands are in pieces just unzipping my sleeping bag is agony. Can't wait to get back to civilization. Haven't showered for a month and we've had our fill of freeze dried rations. Thankfully we still have enough fresh coffee and chocolate for the 30 mile hike out of here.
Though destroyed and surviving on painkillers and anti-inflamatories we're all in good spirits. Just another 3 days of hard hiking to go. The river crossings that were waist deep ragging torrents on the way up are now trickles we can boulder hop across without removing boots. SO ready to get out of here! Can almost taste the fresh food and beer."
Alastair Lee will be premiering his film about this expedition The Asgard Project at the Kendal Mountain Festival