American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, South Greenland, Pamiagdluk Island, South Greenland, First Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2002

Pamiagdluk Island, South Greenland, first ascents. The Greenland Bigwall Expedition spent six weeks between the end of July and September in South Greenland. Our aim was to push the complex limits in one bigwall route without bolts. Accordingly we had a team of four strong climbers with different specialties, from 5.14 sportclimbers to multiweek A4-A5 Himalayan big wall climbers, and everything between. The four Munich-based members were: Gabor Berecz (45), Günter Dengler (32), Toni Lamprecht (30), and myself (41).

After a complicated journey—without helicopter!—to the islands of South Greenland, we made a three-day tour in our small raftboat from Aaplagtoq to find good, high, untouched walls. We found the best choice with bad Greenland weather to be the 1,100-meter southeast face of a 1190m “new” mountain we named Los Capitanos, on the island Pamiagdluk. After transporting our equipment to the island we built our base camp in the Antonio Valley approximately an hour walk to the face. Nice and very stormy weather alternated every two to three days. We did everything by ourselves, without any help of tour agencies, ships, helicopter, and satellite-telephones. We told nobody where we were.

For the first route we climbed a free line at the highest part of the over two-kilometer-wide face. We worked with fixed ropes because of the stormy weather; all together we spent seven days on the route. We made the top by a polar storm and rappelled down in heavy waterfalls by night. The 28-pitch climb has excellent granite and we called it Aquasky (VI 5.11).

In the following six days we climbed in extraordinarily good weather a 25-pitch route we called Easy or Squeezy, by some hard “limit pushing” parts without drilling (VI 5.12b A4c). At the end we climbed the trio Berecz-Lamprecht-Tivadar, a shorter alpine route on the north- west-shoulder of the peak Frenchbird (Kaempleplade 8pt. III 5.10b).

The goal of our expedition was to not use bolts in our climbs. The protection was always traditional. We just left on our rappel line between the two climbs a single 8mm bolt each 60 to 100 meters. Our climb was supported by the DAV and the Sektion Bayerland.

Thomas Tivadar, DAV Sektion Bayerland

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