North America, Greenland, Schweizerland, Fox Jaw Cirque, Various Ascents

Publication Year: 2010.

Fox Jaw Cirque, various ascents. During July, Matteo Della Bordella, Richard Felderer, Lorenzo “Pala” Lanfranchi, and Simone Pedeferri from the Ragni di Lecco climbed four new routes in the Fox Jaw Cirque.

The team climbed five routes in 20 days and enjoyed an experience that an unusually loquacious Pedeferri described as “aesthetically very beautiful.” If this climber-artist feels this way, then it must be true. He added, “Tasiilaq Fjord, where we established base camp, is one of the most beautiful and wildest I’ve ever seen. The granite walls in the cirque are fantastic, with truly superb rock.” He concluded with a statement all alpinists dream of hearing: “You’re so isolated, and there are still so many walls to be climbed, it seems as if you’re in Patagonia 30 years ago.”

Pedeferri describes the area as so wild that “it is nature that dictates the rules—nature as unbeatable as the absurd number of mosquitoes that infested our base camp.” However, there were “no mosquitoes on the rock faces, and you could climb for 20 hours non-stop, with constant daylight. What you usually achieve in three days, you manage in just one.”

Emozione Polare, put up by all four climbers, ascends the Incisor in the same area of rock as Beers in Paradise (V 5.10+ AO, 600m, American-Canadian team, 2007). Pedeferri described it as “perfect, on extraordinary rock, one of the most beautiful routes I know.” The four ascended the 15-pitch line during July 15 and 16, in a 26-hour push from base camp to summit and back, with difficulties up to UIAA VIII. They placed one protection bolt and equipped some belays for rappels.

Using minimal gear was a fundamental aspect of the style they wished to achieve. “We wanted to climb clean—British style—on-sight and without leaving a trace,” explained Pedeferri, who with Lanfranconi had already put up two routes. On July 8 they produced Il Gemello Diverso (7b, 630m of climbing, 20 hours camp-to-camp, no bolts), a 13 pitch line on Left Rabbit Ear in the same vicinity as Naeterqaabin-Jebbananee (IV 5.10, 550m, 13 pitches, American-Canadian team, 2007). On the 12th they climbed El Cavajo dell’angel (7b, 420m, 16 hours camp-to-camp) on the Molar, again with no bolts. “We didn’t think we’d be able to climb El Cavajo dell’angel without bolts, but in the end we managed, thanks to our combined experience” stated Pedeferri. The route appears to be near to the line attempted in 2007 by Becknar, Furman, and Panagoulis.

Also on the Molar, Della Bordella and Felderer spent two days making the first ascent of Ingirumimusnocte, a beautiful 420m line with difficulties up to 7b+, 6c+ obl. Although they placed 28 bolts, including belays, this is a truly psychological outing, with long runouts. (Della Bordella is well-known for his scary climbs at Wendenstock, the European temple of bold routes.) Later, Della Bordella and Felderer repeated Doublemint Direct (III 5.8, Lundin-Warten, 2007) on Baby Molar, which they graded UIAA VI.

Pedeferri complimented the other climbers, in particular Della Bordella who, despite being on his first expedition (or perhaps because of it) proved unstoppable. “Matteo has attributes I’ve rarely seen in other climbers. He really is talented and incredibly at ease when on-sighting a big rock face. He has a pure, insatiable passion for climbing.” And then the climber-artist concluded, “Yes, I’m really happy. In Greenland I really felt free to climb!” As everyone knows, there is nothing better for a climber.

Fabio Palma, Italy, and Lindsay Griffin, Mountain INFO