North America, Greenland, Cape Farwell Region, Tasermiut Fjord, Nalumasortoq, Prowed and Free; Ulamertorssuaq, Moby Dick, Speed Ascent
Tasermiut Fjord, Nalumasortoq, Prowed and Free; Ulamertorssuaq, Moby Dick, speed ascent. On July 2 Nathan Martin and I started our 34-day expedition to the Tasermiut fiord in southern Greenland by climbing the dead-straight 2,500-foot route Non C’e Due Senza Tre (V 5.11+) on the right pillar of Nalumasortoq. We made it within 200 feet of the summit in a day before retreating in the dark. It was awesome. The following day it started to rain and continued for the next 12 days. Kind-of-a-bummer. After three days of clear weather we started up the central pillar by following the first eight pitches to the 2003 highpoint that Nathan reached with Tim O’Neil on a previous expedition. From here we followed excellent hand-to-finger cracks that would lead to the summit; however, three difficult pitches required cleaning, forcing us to hang on gear and forfeiting the free ascent on that attempt. We reached the summit at sunset and rappelled the route confident that another attempt would lead to a successful free ascent. Then it rained for 16 days straight. What a buzz-kill that was.
Eventually the skies and our heads cleared and on August 2 we completed our stunning 2,000-foot route, Prowed and Free (V+ 5.12+), all-free-in-a-day without using fixed ropes or jumars; a first for this area. The dead-vertical route is stacked with hard crack climbing including five pitches of 5.12 in a row starting at pitch 8 with two of them racking in at 5.12+. It was amazing that everything came together at the last minute on such a gem. It was hard to pioneer this route in this style, and we hope future ascents will follow suit. Someone’s gotta onsight this thing!
Totally stoked and high, with one day left before pickup, we set out on August 4 and climbed the classic route Moby Dick (VI 5.13-), on the 3,000-foot Ulamertorssuaq. We managed to race up the climb in 11 hours and 56 minutes, free climbing most of the route. The potential for more free routes in the area, 5.14 and beyond, is practically unlimited and is highly recommended. The granite is reminiscent of Tuolumne characterized by superb and endless cracks, knobby faces and surreal environment making for remarkable conditions. In 6 weeks we climbed only 4 days, but those were four of the best days ever!
Jared Ogden, AAC