Tasermiut Fjord, Half Dome, Dash-Friday Route, Second Ascent with Variants
North America, Greenland, South Coast
Jindrich Mandat and I came to Tasermiut mainly to repeat existing routes. It was only after we had picked the areas most famous jewels that we began contemplating a moderate first ascent. We decided on the east-northeast face of Half Dome, which is something of an outsider here among all the big walls. Our information was rather scant, and we thought there was only one established route, Les Temps sont Durs (500m, 15 pitches, 6c, see AAJ 1999), which begins ca 80m left of the edge of the sheer north face and was put up in 1998 by the Swiss Castella, Lehner, Truffer, and Zambetti. However, to the right, the prominent dihedral close to the edge of the face seemed to be unclimbed, and there was no sign of any of the equipped belays that were reported on Les Temps sont Durs. It wasn’t until we got home that we discovered the dihedral had been climbed in 2003 by Micah Dash and Thad Friday (500m, 5.10X, see AAJ 2004).
We climbed the route in two days, onsighting every pitch. In the afternoon of the first day we fixed the first four pitches; on the second day we jumared and finished the route. The climbing was generally easy, except on pitch four, where a combination of delicate, runout face climbing yielded one interesting section. Jindrich used skyhook runners on this pitch. We completed the route in 12 pitches with the crux fourth pitch at UIAA VII- R.
We rappelled the route, in the upper part using slings for anchors, but further down leaving pegs, nuts, and bolts. The huge dihedral turned out to be a bad rope-eater; be careful here! Altogether we placed seven bolts; five on belays (only one per belay, as there was always a natural gear placement) and two on the slabby first pitch, which we hope is different from the Dash-Friday original. We found no trace of previous passage but did spot a nut with a carabiner to the right of our line on the second pitch. We trust the original route didn’t lose any of its X rating.
We also repeated some of the free climbs on Ulamertorssuaq and Nalumasortoq, and hope the following information will prove useful to future parties. Nalumasortoq, Right Pillar, Non C’e Due Senza Tre. We climbed this in a day, with the leader onsighting every pitch. The original topo appears to fake the last two pitches. Instead of climbing upward on terrain indicated as easy, you have to traverse right for two pitches to a wet and icy cor- ner/offwidth, and then climb this in two unpleasant pitches. This finish doesn’t remotely share the beauty of the rest of the route. Ulamertorssuaq, Moby Dick. We climbed and descended this with two bivouacs (both on the Black Man). Apart from the two pitches of IX+, which we climbed with rests, the route was led onsight. The belay at the top of pitch 27 comprises three bolts, but only two of them have hangers, and one of these needs a nut to be complete. There is no other possible placement, so bring a nut if you can. Ulamertorssuaq, War and Poetry. We climbed this with some rest points and one bivouac. Nalumasortoq, Left Pillar, Life is Beautiful. We climbed this with some rest points in one day. A little before our ascent the route had been repeated using aid by two Americans. Most of the climb is in perfect thin cracks, but unfortunately several loose flakes remain. Surprisingly, the overhang on the sixth pitch was not the crux as expected. This came higher on pitch 12.