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North America, South Greenland, Cape Farewell Region, Sermersoq Island, Southwest Face of The Needle

Sermersoq Island, southwest face of The Needle. In 2002 French climbers, Pierre Mayet, Marrhieu Noury and Marie Ponson climbed a new route on the Needle (which they referred to as the Sermersoq Dibona, after its resemblance to the famous granite aiguille in the Ecrins Massif). The southwest face, which is clearly visible from the town of Nanortalik, gave the French 500m of climbing and is now the hardest route on the island. Dibonaland has 13 pitches up to F6a+ and A1 but the team stopped 15m short of the summit due to adverse weather and very high wind. On June 19 they climbed the first 11 pitches of superb knobbly granite but were forced to descend. They returned on the 21st and completed their 350m-high route. The Needle is a striking, course-grained granite, 1,200+m summit in the central range of the island and was climbed during the first expedition to Sermersoq. In 1957 British mountaineers, G Francis and D Fletcher, climbed the north face; a six-pitch climb at V with one aid point. This route has been repeated twice; in 1993 and 2003.

Prior to this, in six hours on June 17, the three French also climbed a six-pitch (250m) route, christened Buffet Froid (5+/6a with a beautiful diedre), on the southwest face of a nearby, pyramidal, slabby summit, leaving a cairn at the top.

Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO