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North America, Canada, Baffin Island, Tirokwa, West Face

Tirokwa, West Face. We were a small expedition, two people, Jill Lawrence and I. Our objective was the west face of Mount Thor, but after hearing of the Japanese team’s bolting epic and subsequent failure, we turned to the west face of Tirokwa. This face abuts the unnamed westerly satellite peak and is a 4000-foot triangular cliff with a prominent central spur. The route takes a ramp cutting the lower face of the spur for 10 rope-lengths, then follows the crest of the spur for four pitches before traversing left onto the north flank of the spur for two pitches and climbing the centre of the north flank by a prominent crack system for 10 pitches to reach a saddle. We then followed the ridge of the spur for five pitches until it abuts the upper face and then climbed diagonally to the right for three pitches and finally for four pitches up easier rock to the summit. The route is on steep rock throughout, rather loose on the first four pitches. It is remarkably sustained at F6 to F8 with three pitches of F9 and three of fourth class. We used two pins for anchors and 2 nuts for direct aid to start the third pitch after the ramp. All other belays were from nuts. Climbing time was 15 hours. We descended the southwest ridge with two rappels in three hours.

Peter Livesey, Alpine Club