American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Gunnsbjørns Fjeld and Mont Forel

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1989

Gunnsbjørns Fjeld and Mont Forel. Franz Fischer, Tommy Sandberg, PerGunnar Bjurman and I made a 43-day expedition to East Greenland. We flew from Isafjordur, Iceland on July 24 with a ski-equipped Twin Otter to a glacier 20 kilometers north of Gunnsbjørns Fjeld. After waiting a day for good weather, we climbed Gunnsbjørns Fjeld (3708 meters, 12,166 feet) from the southwest. On July 27, we started the 500-kilometer journey to Mont Forel with 80 kilograms on each sled. We traveled 200 kilometers out onto the icecap through mountainous country. We crossed the Christian IV Glacier in a southwesterly direction. We used the same route as the 1987 English expedition to the Sorgenfri Glacier. The 100 kilometers from the west side of the upper Frederiksborg Glacier to the northern part of the Prince of Wales Glacier was over new territory. On August 9, we reached the icecap. We then followed the 1934 Trans-Greenland route of Martin Lindsay. After three days of bad weather and crevasse problems, the weather cleared and it got colder, down to -30° C. Bjurman had increasing pain in his chest. On August 23, we called for a helicopter from Angssalik to evacuate him. We other three continued to Mont Forel 100 kilometers away. On August 29, we climbed Forel (3360 meters, 11,024 feet) by a new route from the north up a 500-meter-high 40° snow face. The seven-day route down to Kungmiut was over big glaciers with dangerous crevasses. Being free of snow, there were no snow bridges. We threw our sleds away in a crevasse on the Paris Glacier and back-packed from there. We had covered 730 kilometers and climbed both peaks.

Bengt Rodin, Svenska Klätterforbundet

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