AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Tasermiut Fjord, Ketil (2,010m), Catalan Route, Second Ascent, First Alpine Style

From July 12 to August 10 Wojciech Kurz, Pawel Wycislik, and I attempted a route on each of three big walls: Ketil, Nalumatorsoq, and Ulamertorssuaq. From a base camp beneath the west face of Ketil, we attempted the second overall and first free ascent of Anissa (1,200m, UIAA VII obl A3, Alonso-Jonglez, 2000). We climbed four pitches but found the roofs above impossible for us to free, so we abandoned the attempt. We turned to the Catalan Route (1,200m, UIAA VI A3, Martin-Nicolau-Ortega-Verdaquer, 1984), for which we had a good topo of the first two-thirds, made by a Danish-Swedish team that in 1987 climbed 23 pitches before retreating in a storm. We climbed alpine-style, bivouacking at the top of pitch 20, again on the summit ridge, and during the descent—three cold nights. We climbed 33 pitches to gain the summit ridge. Pitch 14 was V+ Al, and the 16th pitch V+ A2. On several other pitches we used rest points. The crux free pitch (12) was VIII-. From the ridge it was 600m of easy ground along the crest to the main summit. This was the first repeat and first alpine style ascent. [See AAJ 2000, p. 244, for the approximate line.]

Later we tried to free-climb War and Poetry on Ulamertorssuaq but could not free the 26th pitch, so we retreated. We also attempted a free ascent of the 2000 Japanese route, Life is Beautiful (UIAA VI- A2+) on the west face of Nalumatorsoq. We spent a considerable amount of time gardening and only climbed the first two pitches, which we felt were VII and VIII-, respectively, before bad weather ended our expedition.