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North America, Greenland, West Coast, Uumannaaq Fjord, Several Routes

Uumannaaq Fjord, several routes. In summer 2009 Giovanni Cristofori and Cristina Rapisardi decided to spend time on the west coast of Greenland. They own an ocean-going yacht, Billy Budd, and Christina likes to climb. In 2006 we put up new routes on the northeast coast of Baffin Island, operating from the yacht. The plan was for Christina and Giovanni to sail up the Greenland coast to Aasiaat, where fellow guide Daniele Bernasconi and I would join them in mid-July for two weeks of exploration around the fjord of Uumannaaq, farther north.

The weather was on our side; there was no fog or cold. We could sail without heavy clothing, see icebergs, and climb in T-shirts.

On Adgap Island Christina, Daniele, and I opened an 11-pitch, 520m rock route using only traditional protection. Three pitches were 6a and the rest 5b-5c. We named the route Pavlova, in honor of excellent cake eaten the previous night, and walked down the opposite side of the island to be collected by boat. At the top of the route our GPS gave a reading N70°52.122',W51°40.104'.

On Qingussaq Island we opened another rock route, this one of 10 pitches (400m), up to 5c. Again, we used only traditional protection, naming the route White Seagulls. (The face was full of them.) At the top the GPS read N 71°23.569', W 53°04.219' We descended the east flank of the island, using a ledge system that required difficult route-finding. We needed a rope to downclimb the last section to the shore.

Finally, on Qioqe Peninsula Daniele and I climbed Peak 1,831m (N 71°11.726', W 52°27.317') from the south coast. We believe this is the peak climbed by Kurt Diemberger’s seven-member expedition in 1971, but from the opposite side. We followed moraine, ice, and finally a rock ridge, using ice axe and crampons but no rope. From the summit we could see many fine unclimbed objectives on the Alfred Wegener Peninsula and the island of Upernavik O.

Michele Maggioni, Italy