American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, Northeast, Rignys Bjerg Mountains, Various Activity

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2000

Rignys Bjerg Mountains, Various Activity. Expedition members Brinley Mitchell, Peter McEwen and Ian MacDonald are part of a group of gay men who believe that the twin activities of sailing and climbing assist with building health and vitality. We had as our objective to establish physical and mental well-being through the dynamic of exploring a remote area of east Greenland while living under the threat of AIDS.

We led an expedition into the Rignys Bjerg Mountains from July 3-25. From Base Camp at 1600 meters, we made three first ascents. We climbed a 2000-meter peak (69° 18.120' N, 26° 46.257' W) by its south ridge (PD) in three hours; a 2320-meter peak (69° 18.120' N, 26° 46.257' W) by its northeast ridge (PD) in five hours; and a 2020-meter peak (69° 17.901' N, 26° 45.704' W) by its southwest ridge (PD, technical) in two and a half hours. We also carried out six two-day exploratory ski tours on a glacier at the edge of the ice-cap located at 69° 18.180' N, 26° 43.587' W. The mountains in the area were up to a height of 2500 meters. Most ascents were between 400-600 meters.

The condition of the rock was extremely friable and all ascents were on snow slopes and ridges. The greatest objective danger was rockfall and crevasse crossing. The weather was clear, sunny and calm with a maximum daytime temperature of between 20- to 30°C with about seven days of snow storms and Gale Force 8 winds (unsettled weather).

The equipment and provisions were shipped in on one Twin Otter flight. We withdrew all refuse from the field. One of our party developed pneumonia with pneumocystis carinii but made a full recovery three months after the end of the expedition. The area was reached from Akureyri in Northern Iceland.

Brinley Mitchell, United Kingdom

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