American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Greenland, East Greenland, Mikis Fjord, Ascent of Red Peak

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2005

Mikis Fjord, ascent of Red Peak. Hoping to find anchorage in Kangerdlussuaq Fjord, which would give access to the Lemon Mountains etc, a small British team sailed in mid-May from Portsmouth, UK, via Iceland to the East Coast of Greenland. Bad weather and then the subsequent snapping in two of the boom, forcing the yacht to return to Iceland for repairs, caused delays. When they eventually reached their destination at the start of August, sea ice made penetrating the Kangerdlussuaq impractical and by the time an alternative venue, the Mikis Fjord nine kilometers east up the coast from Kangerdlussuaq, was reached, the five climbers on board, Tim Broad, Rob Jones, Steve Lodge, Peter Watson, and Stewart Wright, had only a week in which to achieve any ascents and were forced to concentrate on the mountains close to the head of the fjord. Unfortunately, the weather that week proved less than favorable, with gales to begin and sunshine appearing only at the end.

Two peaks were attempted from sea level. After climbing through an icefall (300m of climbing up to Scottish III/IV), a crevassed glacier was followed to 876m below the rocky pyramid of Mikis Peak (1,289m) on the south side of the fjord. A shattered rock wall of 100m led to the narrow and crumbly East Ridge but the team retreated around midnight at an altitude of ca 1,100m and returned in a 22-hour day. However, later they were able to climb 870m Red Peak, east of the fjord head, via a long glacier approach followed by scrambling on shattered rock to the broad summit. Two routes of ascent were taken: a dangerously loose gully on the South West Flank, and the rather more stable North Ridge.

Peter Watson, United Kingdom

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