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North America, Canada, Canadian Arctic, Nunavut, Climbs in Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island

Climbs in Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island. Matt Walsh and I spent a month in Auyuittuq National Park and except for the walk up the Weasel valley, we traveled on cross-country skis. We did a lot of ski touring because the weather was often poor, but the winds were not strong and the rock was good with short approaches to the climbs. We did three new routes, all free and protected by wires and hexes. The new climbs were done in a single push, two from camp near the base of Bilbo on the Nerutusoq Glacier and the third from King Parade Glacier. “Red October” (1500 feet, 5.8) was done on June 31. The climb was on the Red Wall, a triangular wall 2.5 miles due east of the northernmost buttress of Bilbo. The wall is characterized by a large hanging diagonal flake near the top in the center of the wall. We started 20 meters left of a square cutaway section immediately below the flake. Except for the first pitch, the next six are 5.8 on excellent rock up a series of diagonal ramps and flakes. We descended easy snow on the right. “Gilligan’s Island” (600 feet, 5.9) was climbed on August 2. This was up a large rock face on the right side of the Nerutusoq Glacier, a mile north of Frodo and on the same ridge line. We ascended the obvious weakness up the left side of the face. “Waiting for the Sun” (1800 feet, 5.8 but mostly easier) was ascended on August 10. As you enter Kings Parade Glacier from the Caribou Glacier, slabs on the left form part of the Asgard massif. We climbed those slabs. At the right side of the main wall is a strong diagonal line leading up to the right which meets a diagonal heading back left about a third of the way up the face. We followed these. We also made two repeats: Asgard by the Swiss route and the northwest buttress of Bilbo.

Campbell Mercer, Australia