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North America, Greenland, East Coast, Schweizerland, Tasiilaq Fjeldhytte, Keerali Gletscher Area, Various Ascents

Tasiilaq Fjeldhytte, Keerali Gletscher Area, Various Ascents. On April 13, John and Liz Williams, Dr. Steve Kershawa, and I (all British) flew from Iceland to Kulusuk, then on by chartered Air Alpha helicopter along the length of Ammassalik Fjurdv, past the settlement at Kuummiit into the Tasiilaq Kuua Valley to a landing at the superbly sited Tasiilaq Fjeldhytte (mountain hut) (66° 06' N, 36° 57' W). We had the use of the Tasiilaq Fjeldhytte for the first part of our trip, which made for a very comfortable base.

John and Liz and I skied north from the hut before turning off the main glacier to climb to the summit of Sun Dome Peak (1100m), which gave a magnificent outlook over the enormous Kaarali Gletscher Basin that is ringed by superb peaks. The hut area was fogbound for the next two days; when the sun reappeared, we made a lovely ski tour to a point in the Koarali Basin directly below the fantastic peaks of Starebror and Trillingems (the Triplets). Another day was lost to light snow and fog, then, on April 21, we climbed on steep snow through rock ribs up to the ridge of Hstten Kogel (1280m), just north of the hut. From a summit on this ridge, we gazed across to the beautiful rock walls of the Fox Jaw (see AAJ 1999, p. 296), where many fine lines await ascents.

A second flight soon after brought more people, including a group of French led by guide Patrick Jeannot who aimed to ski into the Kaarali Basin. Our last night at the hut was thus a cosmopolitan evening as we loaded our two pulkas in preparation for our ski journey out to Kuummiit.

There is great scope in this area for a whole range of alpine climbing, rock climbing and ski mountaineering; in summer, access by boat is also possible to the head of Tasiilaq Fjord, about six kilometers from the hut. (Contact for hut use: Hans Christian Florian at Mount Fokol Expedition Support, Box 116, 3913 Tsaiilaq; Phone +299-98 1320; emailflorian@greennet.gl)

James Gregson, Alpine Club