American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, Baffin Island, Mount Asgard, Northwest Face, Cumberland Peninsula

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1976

Mount Asgard, Northwest Face, Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island. In mid-July Pat Padden, Shary McVoy, Rick Sylvester, and I were finally on our way to the unclimbed northwest face of Mount Asgard. Upon our arrival at the Eskimo village of Pangnirtung, we were met by Charlie Porter, who had similar ambitions to ours. After a week of waiting in Pangnirtung for a helicopter, we were eventually standing at the base of the 2000-foot northwest face of the twin summits of Mount Asgard. We had chosen an obvious dihedral slanting up to the left, the same line that had been attempted in 1972 by Doug Scott and party. After 250 feet of mixed free and aid climbing we placed a few bolts up to the left to another crack system. Deteriorating weather forced us down to Base Camp on Turner Glacier, where we spent the next five days in our tents as the storm raged outside. Pat and I were now out of time and food and so hiked out to Pangnirtung while Rick and Shary stayed on. Charlie Porter now showed up and joined Rick and Shary. By starting 80 feet to the right of the original start, they moved up, eventually penduluming into the main dihedral higher up, thus placing only 1 bolt. After getting two-thirds of the way, a bad snow storm forced them to retreat. By now Rick and Shary were going hungry from lack of food and had to hike out to Pangnirtung for more. Charlie elected to go up on the climb, completing the climb in stormy weather from September 1-10. Winter had now arrived in full force by dumping four feet of fresh snow on the mountains.

Craig Martinson, North Star Mountaineers

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