North America, South Greenland, Cape Farewell Region, Pamiagdluk Island, The Baroness, Second Ascent of Venus Envy; Prins Christian Sund, Igdlorssuit Havn, Repeat Ascents and New Routes

Publication Year: 2004.

Pamiagdluk Island, The Baroness, second ascent of Venus Envy; Prins Christian Sund, Igdlorssuit Havn, repeat ascents and new routes. Sarah Whitehouse and I again visited the Cape Farewell region of South Greenland. We first landed at Pamiagdluk Island, where we made the second ascent of Venus Envy, a 15-pitch route on the Baroness put up in 2001 by Airlie Anderson and Lucy Creamer at E4/5 6a. We fixed ropes and made several variations. At the pinnacle that forms the third pitch above the lower snow terrace, we climbed the left rather than the right side. Although the grade is the same (E4 6a), this allowed the pitch to be climbed with a standard rack. (The right side, followed on the original ascent is an off-width that requires a #6 Friend.) However, the next pitch (also E4 6a) is still a bold off-width requiring a #6 Friend. Near the top of the route we also climbed a ramp system left of the original finish, which gave two hard pitches of E3/4 (one of which was particularly bold at 5c, the other more technical at good 6a), followed by VS climbing. We named it the Blue Jeans variant. We also repeated the first three pitches of The Fur Trappers (ca 650m, 17 pitches, E4 6a and A1, Niall Grimes and Ian Hey, 2001) on the same formation. The Baroness is a splendid piece of rock with much scope for hard climbing on the yet untouched left side of the wall and no obvious easy way off the far side. However, it faces northwest and does not receive the sun until after 2 p.m.

We were then transported to Prins Christian Sund, where we overlapped four days with another British party climbing above Igdlorssuit Havn (see elsewhere). Here, we repeated Cryptic Crossword, an 11-pitch route on the right side of the left wing of Igdlorssuit Havn Tower’s main face. This route has now been climbed a lot and is arguably the most popular climb in South Greenland. We were able to make the ascent entirely without aid, free climbing the tension traverse/lower at E3 5c, the same as the original route grade given by first ascensionists Matt Heason and Adam Jackson in 2001, and confirmed by several subsequent ascents by other members of their party the same year. We also did a one-day ascent of Wonderful Purple Head (25 pitches, E2 5c), another route climbed on the Tower in 2001 by Dean Grindell and Mark Harris, who linked the start of Wonderful World (800m, E4 6a C1) with Action Man’s Purple Head (23 pitches, E2 5b). However, this is a big face and the line we followed may not be entirely that of the first ascensionists. In any case we felt the grade to be E3 5c possibly even E4 6a. Finally, we climbed a new route right of Homebrew Hangover on the much shorter sea cliffs above base camp, we graded Zip Drive E3 5c. We experienced brilliant weather throughout our stay and plan to return again this year.

Tony Whitehouse, U.K.