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North America, East Greenland, Southern Kangerdlugssuaq, Kronrpins Frederiks Berge, First Ascents

Southern Kangerdlugssuaq, Kronprins Frederiks Berge, first ascents. From July 23 to August 15 eight British climbers (Pete Brooks, Bill Church, Brian Davison, Clive Dandridge, Pete Nelson, Mick Pettipher, Graham Robinson, and Dave Wilkinson) visited the mountains on the south side of the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord. The team was flown in by a ski-equipped Twin Otter to a base camp at 1,700m at the head of both the Nordre Parallel and Sondre Parallel glaciers (N68 30). The expedition essentially planned to complete exploration of this region of the Kronsprins Frederiks Berge. The sector to the northwest and closer to the icecap was visited in 1990 by Stan Wooley’s British expedition, which made extensive ski trips throughout the region climbing many of the highest peaks. One of the members, Phil Bartlett, led a subsequent trip in 1998 to the peaks around Redekammen (2,555m) to the west. Members of that expedition made the first ascent of Redekammen and numerous other neighboring summits, leaving the southern sector of peaks, closest to the coast, untouched.

During three weeks in this southern area in 2003, our expedition made a number of trips from a central base camp using skis and pulks, temporarily camping at 10 different locations. The weather was generally very good for the first two weeks but became unsettled in the last week (coinciding with the heat wave across Europe). Nevertheless, expedition members managed to make a total of 35 first ascents on peaks that were almost-certainly previously unclimbed. Most of these do not have spot heights on the map (Danish Geographical Survey) and many more errors were found on the map to this area than on the equivalent sheet to Redekammen.

Peaks climbed lay in an arc around base camp from south through north to east, with the furthest north being the group containing Crystal Peak (2,480m), Middle Peak (2,310m), Curving Peak (2,490m) and unnamed 2,310m (all climbed by Brooks and Pettipher, accompanied by Dandridge on the first only). The highest peak climbed (ca 2,600m), and also probably one of the steepest, was The Castle, which lay directly southwest of base camp and was climbed on August 8 by Church, Davison, and Wilkinson. Due east of base camp, Dome Peak (the north peak of Pt. 2,100m) gave some technical rock climbing on the southeast ridge and was climbed solo by Davison on August 13. There is scope for numerous more first ascents of new peaks and more adventurous routes on the already climbed summits.

Brian Davison, U.K.