American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Tasermiut Fjord, Hermelnbjerg, East Face, The Corner of Mt. Fayette, Tininnertuup III, Midnight Children

North America, Greenland, South Coast

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Henrik Nilsson
  • Climb Year: 2010
  • Publication Year: 2011

In summer 2009 Calle Martins, Mattias Sellden, Martin Urby, and I from Sweden spent four weeks in the Hermelndal at the head of the Tasermiut Fjord. The best-known climbed features in this valley are the Tininnertuup peaks II to IV. We set up camp below the Hermelnbjerg and on the first day went up to the col at the start of the east-northeast ridge, hoping to climb the peak by the easiest route. Unlike the British party in 2008, who were faced with four pitches of rock to reach the upper valley, we could walk easily on snow and then glacier. From the col we saw the unclimbed east face. We attempted to climb the east-northeast ridge but found it extremely loose, and rappelled after four pitches. This is a wide area with many alternatives from the col, and our route was certainly not that climbed by the 2008 British party.

On July 10 Martins and Sellden attempted a new line on the north face of Hermelnbjerg, starting with a fantastic offwidth splitter. They climbed four pitches up to 6c before it got dark and they rappelled. Four days later Urby and I tried another obvious line on this part of the wall, climbing about half the height of the wall (nine pitches) before finding that we had to traverse ca 15m left via a thin seam to another diedre system. It would have needed skyhooks and copperheads, which we were not carrying, so we rappelled. To our high point, the difficulties were 6c. In the meantime (13th-14th), Martins and Sellden repeated Rapakavi Road on Tininnertuup IV via the Freeway start, climbing the route completely free with one bivouac.

Over the 13-14th, with one bivouac, Urby and I climbed variations to the 2008 Grmovsek- Grmovsek route, Nulunaq on the east face of Tininnertuup III. We made a separate start and climbed a few new pitches higher up, naming our 800m line Midnight Children, due to our unplanned freezing bivouac (20 pitches, 6b+). We descended by rappelling the north ridge and then sliding down the long snow gully to the valley.

From the 18–20th Sellden and I made an attempt on the west face of Hermelnbjerg, in an area of previous huge rockfall a long way to the right of the two existing routes on this side of the peak. We estimated the face to be 600m high, but in fact it is probably nearer 1,000m. After climbing 500m (13 pitches, 6c and an A0 pendulum, one bivouac) we realized we had neither enough food nor water to finish, so we rappelled.

The major achievement of our trip was the ascent from 18–21 st of Hermelnbjerg’s east face by Martins and Urby. This part of the wall falls from the south summit, which was previously unclimbed. The two crossed the col below the east-northeast ridge at its lowest point and scrabbled down wild and scary loose ground—mud and large blocks—then crossed the glacier to the foot of the wall. From a bivouac at the base they climbed 15 pitches up to 6c+ A0, with a second bivouac on the face. From the top of the wall, scrambling led to the top, where they built a cairn. They made their third bivouac just below the summit and next day rappelled the 600m route, naming it The Corner of Mount Fayette. They highly recommend the climb, and there are other possible lines on this wall.

We found the existing map confusing. There were several occasions when we simply could not get map and reality to match, particularly on the first day when we tried to climb the east-northeast ridge. Also, the highest summit of Hermelnbjerg is marked too far south.

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