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North America, Greenland, Suikarsuak Tower, South Greenland, 1977

Suikarsuak Tower, South Greenland, 1977. The Suiksarsuak Tower is about 3300 feet tall with its principal weakness a 2000-foot dihedral on the northwest face. Our group on the first half of the expedition planned to attempt this, while a second one was to try to climb the 6500-foot west face of the Apostelens Tommelfinger. After a wasted six days of waiting at Nanortalik for delayed baggage, we were landed on July 6, 1977 on Tassermuit Fjord and installed Base Camp there. Bad weather kept us from installing our “Paradise City” bivouac twelve rope-lengths and 1300 feet up the wall at the last comfortable platform and below the dihedral and vertical section of the climb. There were two good days on July 15 and 16 and we climbed eight more rope-lengths on friable rock. Because the second half of the expedition was going to need the technical climbing equipment, after more bad weather we removed all fixed lines and descended. On the second half of the expedition all the climbers except for me changed. We were helicoptered to the base of the Apostelens Tommelfinger on August 1 but reconnaissance revealed such rotten rock that we gave it up. We decided to break into two groups. One unsuccessfully tried the Sphinx. The other, composed of Yves Payrau, Claude Vigier and me, headed back across to Tassermuit Fjord and the Suikarsuak Tower. By August 10 we were back at the previous high point, eight rope-lengths above “Paradise City.” The next four pitches, the crux, took two days and were on very difficult rock. We set out alpine-style on August 13 and bivouacked two rope-lengths higher. Vigier led all the next day and climbed four pitches. On August 15 Payrau led all day and we reached the summit to bivouac after another ten rope-lengths. The good weather ended and we rappelled down in a storm. Unfortunately the second group, which next attempted our route, failed in bad weather.

Marceau Agier, Club Alpin Français