Monday, August 28, 2017

Greenland trip day 10: A beautiful day and a great ridge

Another beautiful morning! Somewhat cloudy but completely dry and little wind. After a good breakfast we are underway at 8:20.
awesome weather

Today we head south along the coast, initially retracing our steps from Saturday, but then deviating to head up towards the ridge. After rounding the corner into the valley we climb more steeply up, up, until hitting a snow patch that leads further up. The snow is good and not too steep, so we do this without crampons: John leads the way and we follow with ice axes. Up, up we go. As it starts to get steeper and the rock looks better, we transition to the rock (scary fall for S here, but she saves it well), which leads us easily to the broad ridge. This leas us up, up, up, walking with a bit of light scrambling, until we get on firmer stone and the ridge narrows. The first peak we are heading to is now in clear view as is the "usual" stunning array of peaks and glaciers.
view down the glacier

We can even see down one broad fjord (Sermiligaaq Fjord?) to what seems to be the sea. At this point John puts the other three onto a rope with him. He offers us the option to decide, so instead of using the second rope we just continue. The next bit isn't remotely difficult, but it is quite exposed (thus the rope). From the here we have a really nice view into the cirque on the other side of the ridge. Very cool in there with other interesting routes beckoning. We also have a view down the other side to our tents, ~850m below.
fun on the ridge

After a bit we reach the base of the last climbing to the peak. Here it gets steeper and L, who's had the most trouble with the climbing and scrambling, announces that she won't be continuing. John had been planning a traverse of the peak, so we all try to convince her, but L. is not budging. Well have to leave her here and continue the short way to the peak and then return. After a bit of looking around to ensure that we *can* find a decent route down and John climbing and down-climbing the first steep bit to ensure that it is doable, we leave our packs with L. and continue. Andrea and Greg rope up for this and G belays A up the first step (exposed, but not super hard. The rock is just soooo good). The rest is light scrambling to the peak. The usual round of Wows and pictures, more wows (the views!!), and then we head back.
we're in Greenland! :-)

The down-scramble is easy and John has us abseil the steep bit. Nice trick here of having the first person down hold the rope for the others, who can then abseil without a prusik: the person at the bottom can just pull the rope tight to stop the abseiler. Once back with L we have a short break to pack away the ropes and then start our way down. For this we head a bit back along the ridge and then turn right, what follows is a mix of rock (mostly loose, but not too loose) and glissading on snow fields (boots, no crampons). Weaving around a bit, along a very nice line that lets us out ~15 minutes form the tents. Boy is the campsite spectacular in the sun!!

After unpacking and setting stuff out to dry, we do a round of wraps (there's some washing first), then hangout and rest until dinner time. Today is chicken fajitas with rice (considerably better than expected). We have a discussion about the coming day (some possible intragroup tension coming here about a possible bivvy) and then head off to bed.
Camp in the evening light

It was sooooo great to have the sun shinning and good weather!

No comments: