Mount Thor, West Face, Diagonal Buttress, Weasel Valley, Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island. The diagonal buttress on the west face of Mount Thor angles upward to the north shoulder, forming the left retaining wall for a dike of red hematite. After reading Doug Scott’s remarks in Big Wall Climbing about the west face of Mount Thor looking “exceedingly bare of good crack lines” and probably requiring “siege climbing and perhaps resorting to the detested drill,” we were surprised to find such a natural-looking line. In August Steve Amter, Rick Cronk and I climbed with a light rack which proved more than adequate for all the climbing except two aid pitches in the middle of the route. These strenuous, awkward, overhanging pitches took us a-day-and-a-half to negotiate, but perhaps a better equipped party would find them easier. The rest of the route (26 pitches, 3000 feet), save one beautiful dihedral at the top, was enjoyable free climbing, most of the pitches varying from F5 to F8. The rock was of good quality reminiscent of the Tetons. The three of us spent 72 hours on the route, though a faster party of two might cut this time considerably. NCCS VI, F9, A4.
Ronald H. Sacks