Anvers Island: Mt. Français Traverse; Mt. Nestor, West Ridge; Mt. Achilles, North Face

Antarctica, Antarctic Peninsula
Author: Damien Gildea. Climb Year: 2019. Publication Year: 2019.

An Australian team—Dave Goldie, Andrew Lock, Liam Silk, and Pat Spiers—visited Anvers Island in February 2019 and made what was probably the first traverse of Mt. Français (2,822m), ascending the Zeus (northwest) Ridge to the summit before descending south across the summit of Mt. Agamemnon (2,577m GPS) and west down the Menelaus Ridge. All but the steepest and iciest sections were skied.

The team also climbed Mt. Nestor (1,302m GPS) via the northwest ridge (a straightforward but steep and exposed snow ascent) and skied up and down Mt. Achilles (1,343m GPS) by the north face. There is no record of ascents of either peak. The four also climbed and skied Mt. Helen (1,278m GPS), first climbed in 1955.

The team’s ascents were made over the course of a week, during a traverse south from their landing point on the west of Lapeyrère Bay, with the intention of carrying on to the coast near Biscoe Bay. However with an injury to a member on their waiting yacht and a bad weather forecast, they turned around, unfurled their kites, and headed back around the northwest side of the mountains, kite-sailing from Patroclus Hill (northwest of Mt. Achilles) to northeast of Mt. Nestor in just one hour. Click here to view an interactive map of their camps and summits.

– Damien Gildea, Australia

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