American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Antarctica, The Peninsula, Livingston Island, The Peninsula; Attempts and Ascents on Anvers, Brabant, and Wiencke islands

  • Climbs And Expeditions
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  • Publication Year: 2005

The Peninsula; attempts and ascents on Anvers, Brabant, and Wiencke islands. A team of primarily British climbers aboard Alun Hubbard’s yacht Gambo, was prevented by heavy sea ice from reaching its main objective of the Arrowsmith Peninsula. Instead it concentrated on making ascents on the more frequented Anvers, Brabant, and Wiencke Islands. From December 28, 2004 to February 8,2005 a number of attempts/ascents were made in the region of Anvers and Wiencke. Two attempts on new routes were made on Mt. Francais, Anvers Island. On the first Alan Gear, Nico Lhomme, and Phil Wickens climbed 1,000m of a new line up the southeast face, hoping to reach the south ridge. They retreated on the upper slopes due to category 5 avalanche conditions and a rather ominous feeling created by large collection of seracs above. The second involved Gear, Hubbard, and Souness, who made an attempt at a new route over Mt. Rennie but gave up in poor weather and awful snow. The first named team also attempted a new route up the northeast slope of Mt. Williams but turned back 100m below the summit due to an impassable crevasse. Their attempt at a possible new route up the east face of Shewry Peak was also thwarted, this time only 50m from the summit due to fragile overhanging cornices and snow mushrooms.

On Wiencke Island three attempts to make the first traverse of the Seven Sisters of Fief were all thwarted by bad weather, but Lhomme and Wickens climbed a short new route up a gully on the northwest flank of Noble Peak (AD+) and then skied back down it for 200m of 45°. Gear and Wickens made two attempts on The Wall before a third, via the East Face icefall and North Ridge (AD-: a possible first ascent) brought them to the summit. Several ascents and ski descents were made of the popular labet Peak, while the minor summit of Doumer Hill on Doumer Island was also climbed via the East Ridge at PD.

On the way home the team stopped off for four days on Brabant Island where three attempts on the South Face of Mt. Bulcke (1,030m) failed but Tim Hall and Souness made the second ascent of Mt. Cherry. Notably, one or two of the ascents on Wiencke were photographed from the air, Tim Hall shooting the pictures while making the first successful paramotor flight in Antarctica.

Phil Wickens, United Kingdom

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