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North America, Greenland, Schweizerland, Champs Elysees Glacier, Various Ascents

Champs Ely sees Glacier, Various Ascents. The British Tangent East Greenland Expedition comprising Paul Walker, Rod Pashley, Jim McLuckie, John Starbuck, Phil Lightfoot, Glenn Morris, Peter Baillie, Peter Watson, Sandy Gregson and Jim Gregson arrived in Kulusuk on July 18. Our intention had been to fly on by Twin Otter to the Kronprins Frederik Bjerge, but a 12-day spell of rain, fog and low cloud pinned us at the coast. On July 30, by switching to a helicopter with more limited range and payload, we made a scary, turbulent flight to a dropoff point on the lower reaches of the Champs Elysees Glacier.

After another day’s delay in very wet conditions, we were able to ski and pulk east to make a base at N 66° 45' W 35° 52' (elev. ca. 1900 m). Another night and day of storm dumped more snow before the sun came out again on August 3 (good weather remained for the rest of the trip). We then went on a spree of ski ascents and roped climbs, making a series of first ascents on peaks bordering the Kristian, Champs Elysees and Pourquoi-Pas glaciers. Mountains climbed included The Sphinx (two summits, 2050m and 2080m); Tangent Peak (2420m) by the south ridge; several summits of Coxcomb Peak (2180m), including the highest, a jutting prow of rock over a big rockface; Parrotspitze (2400m) by the Parrot’s Beak Arête (West Ridge); Two Peters Peak (ca. 2370m); Hidden Peak (2270m) by its northeast flank; and Well-Hidden Peak (2240m). A number of other repeat ascents were also made by team members, along with several additional attempts given up in the face of unsafe snow or loose rock. Many other fine objectives remain to be accomplished in this area.

Two other British groups also operated in adjacent areas, making a number of ascents before a final rendezvous at the Tangent base camp from where everyone was flown out by Twin Otter on August 11.

James Gregson, Alpine Club