American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Arctic, Cambridge East Greenland Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1964

Cambridge East Greenland Expedition. Our expedition comprised twelve members of Cambridge University, led by Colin Knox, a New Zealander undertaking research at King’s College. The other members were John Lendon, Mike Graham, Dick Morton, Rupert Roschnik, Bill Barlow, Peter Rowat, Nick Estcourt, Tony Robinson, Chris Donaldson Wood, Nick Pott and Robin Hildrew. Having flown in from Iceland to Mesters Vig, about half way up the east coast of Greenland, we operated during July and August from a Base Camp in the Dammen region of the Staunings Alps. This we reached by way of the Bersaekerbrae and Gully Glacier, a 40-mile journey which took a week, even on skiis. An airdrop of three tons was made onto the neighbouring Sefströms Glacier. We made 25 first ascents, including six over 9000 feet, in the Gully-Sefströms area, and explored five new passes, leading to two new crossings of the Staunings Alps. Scientific programmes of iconspheric physics, glaciology and geology were completed. The following are some of the more important mountains climbed. (Those names marked by * are subject to approval by the Danish authorities.) Grandes Jorasses* (9040 feet) July 22 by Knox, Rowat, Pott. (A large peak between Bersaekerbrae and Gully Glacier. A straightforward climb in poor weather from the Gully side.); Snetoppen (9470 feet) and Pembroke* (9230 feet). August 8 by Pott, Robinson, Knox, Morton. (Outliers of a high ice plateau which dominates the head of Krabbe Glacier, the highest peak south of Dansketinde. Climbed without difficulty from the upper Sefströms.); Trinity* (9300 feet) August 11 by Estcourt, Roschnik, Rowat, Hildrew. (A high, shapely peak northeast of Snetoppen. An interesting climb from the col between the two.) ; Attilaborgen (8760 feet) August 12 by Morton, Pott, Robinson, Knox. (The most northerly major peak on the true left of the Sefströms. Climbed on north face, which gave some unpleasant ice climbing.) ; Cambridge Tinde* (9220 feet) August 18 by Barlow, Rowat, Lendon, Pott. (Perhaps the most beautiful peak at the head of the Sefströms. Climbed from its prominent ice shelf by northeast face.); Magdalene* (c. 8300 feet) August 19 by Estcourt, Roschnik. (A large rock peak north of and dominating the lower Gully Glacier. Climbed by its south ridge, very hard near the top.) ; Korsspids (c. 9100 feet) August 21 by Graham, Wood, Hildrew, Knox. (The highest peak on the true left of Gully Glacier. The west ridge gave an easy climb from the Cavendish Glacier*, but the summit tower and access to the Cavendish were troublesome.); Bolvaerket (c. 8300 feet) August 22 by Roschnik, Morton. (An impressive peak at the head of Gully Glacier, with no immediate line of ascent. The route up the northeast face involved steep ice and a difficult rock step.). This central region of the Staunings Alps contain the most impressive peaks of the whole range. Although most of the major summits have now been climbed, there remain many interesting routes and imposing pinnacles.

Colin F. Knox, Cambridge University Mountaineering Club

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