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North America, Greenland, East Greenland, Knud Rasmussens Land, First Ascents

Knud Rasmussens Land, first ascents. Four British climbers, Geoff Bonney, Rosie Goolden, Mark Humpherys, and I, made nine first ascents from the Griffith Pugh Glacier. The team based itself on the glacier at 69° 10.741' N, 29° 9.029' W approximately 40km from the coast. Conditions throughout their stay in June were perfect and daylight uninterrupted.

The highlight of the expedition was the first ascent of Mt. Kellas (2,884m) via the narrow North Ridge (Alpine D). Following a short ski approach from their second camp, the team encountered typical conditions for the area with near perfect ice and névé interspersed with loose, friable rock. The narrow summit ridge gave stunning views of the ice cap to the north and an endless array of unclimbed peaks to the south. Other ascents included: One Down (2,750m); Pt Alice (2,316m); Kathleen (2,746m); Pearl (2,673m); Malago (2,788m); Pt Whymper (2,546m) and Gordon’s Choice (2,680m).

This area has been something of a preserve for British climbers, who have visited the mountains of Knud Rasmussens Land five times in the last three years. However last year’s expedition note that there is still enormous potential for first ascents in the lower grades.

Jeremy Windsor, United Kingdom