AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

North America, Canada, Canadian Arctic, Baffin Island

Baffin Island. In late June final preparations for our trip were made at the home of Dr. Pat Baird in Montreal, Canada. By early July we had flown to the Eskimo village of Pangnirtung on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island. Pack ice, left by a late thaw, caused a short delay in our plans to reach Base Camp at Pangnirtung Pass fifty miles north of the village. Eskimo canoes were eventually used to reach the head of the Pangnirtung Fjord. A further 25mile walk up Weasel Valley brought us to Summit Lake and Base Camp. Our group came from three countries. Doug Scott, Guy Lee, Ray Gillies, Mick Burke,Rob Wood, and Steve Smith, English; Pat Baird, Canadian; Phil Koch and myself, Americans. The area surrounding Pangnirtung Pass is on the southern fringe of the Penny Icecap. Glaciated valleys with granite faces and peaks dominate the area. Our main objective was to climb faces and buttresses and as many unclimbed summits as our seven-week stay would allow. Unfortunately poor weather confined us to our tents most of the time. By late August the storms brought snow and high winds, the first signs of winter began to appear, and we started the trip back to Pangnirtung. We climbed nine unclimbed peaks, three of these by routes on rock faces and buttresses. First ascents of Breidablik’s north buttress, Mount Killibuck’s east face, and Mount Asgard’s southern peak by its south buttress were done. We also made first ascents of Anaqaq 1 and Anaqaq 11, Bilbo, Frodo, Ungardaluk, and Pingo.

DENNIS HENNEK