American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Mythics Cirque, Ataatap Tower, Northeast Face; Aurora Tower, Southeast Face and Northeast Ridge

Greenland, East Greenland / Schweizerland – Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Philippe Batoux
  • Climb Year: 2018
  • Publication Year: 2019

In July and August, Lionel Daudet, Patrick Wagnon, and I (all French) visited the Mythics Cirque, about 350km north of Kulusuk. We sailed on Ada 2, a 15m yacht owned by Isabelle Autissier. Greenland has more than 3,000km of coastline on its eastern side and offers some of the last wilderness on the planet. While there we kayaked around icebergs and whales—it is so impressive to be on a small inflatable boat near to these huge mammals. We also caught salmon and "unknown" local fish.

We climbed two new routes in the cirque. The first, on the northeast face of Ataatap Tower (a.k.a., Father or Daddy’s Tower, ca 1,350m), took us 10 days in capsule style. The 1,000m climb, with difficulties of 7a A2, starts to the right of the 2012 Libecki-Pringle route, Built Fjord Tough (1,050m, V 5.12 A2); the routes likely share approximately half a dozen pitches on the final headwall.

We completed our second route in one long day. Four hundred meters of technical climbing toward the right side of the southeast face of Aurora Tower (1,451m), opposite our route on Ataatap, led to a long summit (northeast) ridge. The crux was an offwidth for which we had no big cams, as we had been trying to travel light. The 600m route was 7a. This was the second ascent of Aurora Tower, the highest in the cirque, which was first climbed in 2016, via the southwest ridge, by a multinational team (AAJ 2017).

We also visited an adjacent fjord and climbed a perfect 300m granite slab with small edges. The grade was 6b, and the climbing was difficult to protect. In addition, Patrick and I did a lot of paragliding in the region.

Many thanks to our sailing crew: Isabelle, Olivier Meinier, and Ariane Richasse. Navigating through icebergs is committing and a different game than sailing in the Bahamas, but they always dropped us where we wanted.

Philippe Batoux, France

Groenland 2018 - ADA 2 from Nico on Vimeo.

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