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North America, Greenland, Roosevelt Fjeld, Johannes V. Jensen Land, "Avanarsuasua," Exploration

“Avanarsuasua*,” Exploration. The 1998 Euro-American North Greenland Expedition returned for the third time in a series of expeditions (1995, Schmitt, Deuel; 1996, Schmitt, Skafte) to further the exploration of this northernmost peninsula of the world. This expedition, like those before it, had a broad focus that included archeology, paleobotany, oceanography, ornithology and mountaineering. A valiant attempt by Ko deKorte and Hans Stopler to cross the peninsula from Friggs Fjord to Bliss Bugt through the Bennedict Range was successful. Ascents of the northernmost mountains of the peninsula, Greenland and the world were also successful. On July 16, a group of eight climbers (Mara Boland, Peter Skafte, Craig Deutche, Bill VanMoorhem, Detlief Stremke, Roger Brown, Ole Jorgen Hammeken and Dennis Schmitt) proceeded west along the coast from Kap Jessup to the base of a mountain at the northeastern extremity of Sands Fjord. We ascended the four-kilometer east ridge across the ice shoulder to a summit of three rock teeth (Kiguti Pingasut) at 900+ meters. Ole

Jorgen flew the Greenland flag at this place, which we called “Hammeken Point.” Deutche, Hammeken and Schmitt followed the ridge another kilometer and a half to its highest summit (Ikiorti) at 1000 meters. We placed a cairn here. By all standards this peak and the three teeth must be reckoned as the most northerly summits in the world. Extreme high winds were to buffet our final descent.

In the weeks to follow, an observation was made (Skafte, Boland, Brown) of the northernmost archeological site in the world. This could prove that the Independence I migration occurred. A number of climbs in the Sifs Trench were also accomplished. The second ascent of the highest peak (1700m) in the Birgit Koch Tinde was made from the north. We found a cairn from the 1969 British Joint Services Expedition on this summit.

West of the lower Sifs Lake is a pass at 600 meters. A camp was established at the small, unmapped lake here. The south ridge of Peak 1310 was climbed from this camp and a cairn placed on its summit.

Dennis Schmitt

*Inuit for “Most Northerly.” This proposed appellation for the northern-most peninsula of J.V. Jensen Land was submitted by the expedition to Greenland Domestic Authority in 1998 and is pending approval.