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North America, Greenland, Mount Forel Attempt

Mount Forel Attempt. The Isortoq-Mount Forel Kuummiut '95 Expedition consisted of Jan Mila (Norway) Nels Niemi (Alaska) and Hans Christian Florian (Greenland). The objective was to travel in the previously unexplored area from Isortoq to Mount Forel, approaching the 3360-meter peak from the west, around the huge Helheim Glacier. This approach had been tried by Mila and Florian in 1993 but was abandoned because of huge crevasses west of Helheim Glacier. This year they met with a stronger party and chose a more westerly route which avoided the crevasses. This revised route took them about 90 kilometers inland and through the upper parts of the Skakt, Fenris, and Jura Glaciers, reaching the entrance to the glaciers of Schweitzer Land through the Doren ("The Door") at 2100 meters altitude. At this point they encountered polar bear tracks. This was very surprising, as the nearest hunting grounds were at least 80 kilometers distant. Luckily, the bear itself was not encountered. The base of Mount Forel was reached, and, on May 1, an attempt was made to climb Mount Forel from the northeast. The attempt was abandoned at ca 2900 meters altitude because of steep blue ice. It had been a very windy and snowless year. The route down to the village of Kuummiut was heavily crevassed and difficult to negotiate. This is thought to be because of the small amount of snow this year. The expedition covered new land and made the earliest yet attempt of Mount Forel. The team traveled 370 kilometers in 23 days.

Dan ChÁvez