American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Imperial College East Greenland Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1967

Imperial College East Greenland Expedition. An eight-man expedition from Imperial College, London, worked in the Mount Forel district of East Greenland. The members were M. C. Clark, A. G. Cram, C. D. Dean, F. Ekman, M. H. Key, R. W. Rowe, J. R. Taylor and myself as leader. As this region is 70 miles from the nearest accessible point on the coast, the bulk of the equipment and food was air-dropped. We walked in from the coast in eight days. During the march I fell and broke my ankle whilst skiing and had to be left with one companion at Conniats Bjoerg, about halfway in. The ankle was set by the doctor of the Royal Navy expedition and after five weeks in plaster had healed sufficiently to march out. The accident disrupted plans. It had been hoped to drop the loads to a ground party, which had not yet arrived when the loads were dropped blind; much was consequently blown down crevasses. Recovery was not difficult but took time. Despite this, we climbed a total of 16 peaks. Seven were major peaks along the Paris Glacier: Pointe du Harpon (9515 feet) by Clark, Cram, Ekman, Rowe on August 3; de Quervains Bjoerg (8530 feet) by Clark, Cram, Dean, Key on August 13 and 14; Table Mountain (9843 feet) by Rowe, Taylor on August 17 and 18; "Sérac Peak” by Clark, Key on August 19; "Fortress Peak” (8530 feet) by Rowe, Taylor on August 13 and 14; "Pyramid Peak” (8200 feet) by Clark, Cram, Dean, Key on August 8 and "Bastille” (7550 feet) by Cram, Dean on August 17. The mountains rose high above the 4000-foot main glacier; the climbs often comprised a difficult glacier followed by fairly loose rock ridges. North ridges were usually difficult ice climbs. None of the routes took less than 14 hours and two 25-hour ascents were made. Several peaks, notably de Quervains Bjoerg and "Sérac” required difficult rock climbing. Nine other peaks were climbed near Conniats Bjoerg, six by Taylor with the Royal Navy expedition. We sledged back to the coast at the end of August in very bad weather, having also completed a glaciological programme, designed to investigate the earth resistance technique on glaciers.

Geoffrey J. Pert, Imperial College, London

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