Agdlerussakasit (1,750m), east face, new route on east face; The Butler (900m) and Mark (900m), first ascents. Overlooking Torssukatak Sound the seaward face of Agdlerussakasit, which is possibly one of the largest sea cliffs in the world, leads to several subsidiary summits. One of these, referred to as the Thumbnail, was first climbed in August 2000 by Ben Bransby, Matt Dickinson, Ian Parnell, and Gareth Parry, to give a ca 1,350m route (vertical height) at E6 6b.
Last July the Irish-Australian pair of James Mehigan and Richard Sonnerdale started more or less at the same point as the 2000 British Route and in one day slanted up the walls left of the Thumbnail to the half-way terrace, where they were able to escape to the left and down a snow couloir to the fjord. They later returned to complete the upper half of the face, slanting back right to hit the ridge just above the summit of the Thumbnail. No fixed ropes were used on The Cruise Line (July 23 and 28, 1,350m and 20 pitches), which was naturally protected throughout and graded E3 5c.
Our expedition also made first ascents of other peaks. Dewi Durban and I climbed The Butler (900m) via the south face. The 200m route, climbed on July 25 and named The Cripple and the Tortoise, was E2 5c and A1. This followed an attempt to climb the west face on July 15, where the line was aborted after 120m of E2 5c. We also climbed another 900m summit, which we named Mark. This is a formation further up from the Baroness on the right. Mehigan and Sonnerdale climbed the west face of this on July 16 via the 450m Called into Question (E2 5b). On the 31st Mehigan returned with me and we almost climbed another route on the left side of the west face, retreating due to lack of protection on the compact slabs leading to the crest of the north ridge. Other routes up to ca 300m and E2 5c were climbed on crags near to base camp.
One of the main objectives of our expedition was to raise money for UNICEF’s Southern Africa appeal (target around £1,000), hoping that by doing so we can increase awareness of the situation in that area.
Jon Roberts, U.K.