Bjerring Pedersens Glacier, various ascents

East Greenland, Liverpool Land
Author: Michel Raab. Climb Year: 2011. Publication Year: 2013.

On June 25, 2011, my wife, Betsy Winston, and I arrived in Constable Pynt to celebrate our honeymoon by climbing and exploring in Liverpool Land. Because Hurry Fjord was still full of pack ice, and could not be crossed by boat, we were forced to hire a helicopter. Luckily, we managed to strike a good deal with a pilot, who flew us the same day. We were dropped off at 500m on the Bjerring Pedersens Glacier and established our first base camp (70°45' N, 22°03'W). We then spent the next four days climbing the granite peaks located south and southeast from camp. [The Bjerring Pedersens Glacier flows east to the sea immediately north of Sandbach Halvo, and is situated directly on the far side of Hurry Fjord from Constable Pynt. People have ski-toured and traveled through this area of South Liverpool Land for years, but climbing records are sketchy, so it is uncertain how many of the peaks noted below have been previously ascended.]

On June 25 we hiked three kilometers southeast from camp and climbed an unnamed peak via its north face. We climbed ca 300m on snow, finishing up a short steep couloir (65° max), to gain the northeast ridge, and then walked along its exposed crest to the north summit. The height was ca 930m, and we named the peak Snow Blade.

Next day we climbed a ca 1,400m peak located almost four kilometers south-southeast from camp. A 400m north-facing snow and ice couloir (65° max) led to the west shoulder, from where we made a low-angle walk for a few hundred meters, followed by a short section of 4th class over rock and snow, to reach the top, which we named Hoodoo Peak.

On the 28th we headed south-southeast from camp for two and a half kilometers, then east for a little over one kilometer, to reach the west face of Snow Blade. Four pitches of rock (120m, 5.7) led to the south summit, which we named Pixity Peak. We traversed to the north summit via a short section of 4th class, and managed to down-climb steep snow to the base of the route.

On the 30th we moved camp to a pass (650m, 70°42' N, 21°58' W) between the Bjerring Pedersens and Age Nielsens glaciers, and spent the next eight days exploring the Age Nielsens and Hans glaciers south of the Bjerring Pedersens.

On August 2 we hiked five and a half kilometers south-southeast from camp to the base of a 300m couloir, which we climbed (65° max) to a small saddle at ca 700m. From there we climbed three separate summits. To the west of the saddle we followed a 250m ridge of snow and 4th Class rock to the top of what we named Viking Peak (ca 850m). Returning to the saddle, we moved south and climbed a 100m ridge of 3rd class rock to Elf Peak (780m), and then to the east of the saddle made an exposed 90m traverse along a snow ridge to Dwarf Peak (ca 700m).

Our next objective was the Korsbjerg group, which offered granite spires and steep couloirs, though high temperatures, rockfall, and slough avalanches were major hazards at this time. On the 4th we attempted a spire located two and a half kilometers west-northwest from camp. We climbed 200m up the west side of the south face until blocked by a section of loose rock. At this point we retreated, rappelling to the glacier, and dubbing our incomplete attempt Made in Greenland (5.7, three pitches). Two days later we climbed a steep snow gully across from Made in Greenland, then a further two pitches of mixed snow, ice and rock. Above, one rock pitch through a short tricky roof, followed by a pillar and chimney, led to a summit, which we named Blue Dragon’s Thumb (200m, 5.8+ 55°).

On the 7th we climbed a ca 750m peak located three and a half kilometers southeast across the glacier from camp. We followed the northwest ridge up chimneys and faces separated by ledges. We named the summit Inuit Peak(300m, 5.5).

On the 9th we began our ca 60km exodus to Constable Pynt, along the Sodal Valley and around Hurry Fjord.This involved multiple shuttles down the valley. Once at the north end of the fjord, we crossed the Ryders Elv River, with its muddy bottom and silty waters up to chest deep. We arrived just in time to catch the July 13 midday flight to Iceland. The weather remained stable throughout our stay, and fortunately we never ran into polar bears. We would like to thank Paul Walker, through his company Tangent Expeditions, for logistical support and wise advice.

Michel Raab, Switzerland

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