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North America, Greenland, Belgian Greenland Expedition

Belgian Greenland Expedition. Tragedy struck a Belgian expedition consisting of nine people when they were attempting to climb Sneepyramiden (7336 feet), on the Akuliaruseq Peninsula, about 40 miles from Umanak. On July 16, the leader Jean Duchesnes, André Focquet, Giovanni Alzetta and Mlle Nadine Simandl apparently slipped while carrying supplies to a high camp on the northwest ridge and fell to their death down a 3000-foot slope.

Italian Expedition to 74° Parallel. This Italian expedition, under the leadership of Guido Monzino, visited the west coast of Greenland. After arriving by air at Søndre Strømfjord on June 16, they left Egedesminde on July 21 by a special motor yacht Franz Terzo, the floating Base Camp of the expedition, but when Monzino received word of the accident to the Belgians (see above), he promptly offered his help and disregarding his program, they arrived at Umanak on July 24. They were sent ahead, and Franz Terzo anchored in Satukujuk Bay on July 26, near the site of the Belgian Base Camp. The expedition members established camp at about 1800 feet. On July 27 the four Valtournache guides, Jean Bich, Pierino Pession, Leonardo Carrel and Antonio Carrel, started to search the mountain and the north face, in the area where the Belgians had probably fallen. Despite the continuous danger of rockfall, after a long search, they found the bodies of Alzetta and Focquet, but no signs of the others. After long, difficult and dangerous work, the guides carried the corpses to the. foot of the wall. The next day the guides searched the north-northeast ridge and established camp at 5400 feet and on July 29 the four guides, with Guido Monzino and Mario Fantin, followed the ridge and reached the summit of Sneepyramiden. On July 30 the search for the Belgians ended. After this rescue operation, the expedition on board Franz Terzo reached 74° North Latitude, hoping to be able to climb the Devil’s Thumb, ascended by Longstaff and Baird some years ago, but ice conditions at sea obliged them to turn back when the granite tower was only a mile distant.

Pietro Meciani, Club Alpino Italiano