American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Ketil, West Face, Southwest Greenland, 1984

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1986

Ketil, West Face, Southwest Greenland, 1984. This giant rock tooth rises above the eastern shore of Tasermiut Fjord near the southern tip of Greenland to a height of 2010 meters (6595 feet). The first ascent was made in 1974 by Austrians by the south face. In 1975 French climbers ascended a very difficult route on the left side of the 1450-meter-high west face. From July 5 to 29, 1984, a Catalan expedition from Barcelona, composed of Xavier Martín, Xavier Nicolau, Emili Ortega and Jordi Veraguer, completed a second route on the west face. They climbed the first 250 or 300 meters of the French route to where the dihedral forks. The Catalans continued up the right fork for another 400 meters to an overhang which divides the face in half. There they made a spectacular traverse of 55 meters to the right to surmount the roof where it was narrowest. Above the roof, they continued up dihedrals and crack systems to below the summit. The final rope-lengths to the summit were less steep but treacherous because of lichen on the rock. The most difficult pitches were rated as UIAA VI. These were the second pitch after leaving the French dihedral, the overhang traverse and the fourth and fifth pitches above the roof. The first pitch over the roof was artificial at A3. The rest averaged V. They fixed ropes on the lower section until they were over the roof and climbed alpine-style above that. (We are grateful to Sr. Verdaguer for this information.)

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