Climbing to the west of Torssukatak Fjord


1975 University of St Andrews South Greenland Expedition: first ascent of Agdlerussakasit, first attempt on Maujit Qaqarssuasia - 1996 British team climbing west of Maujit Qaqarssuasia - 1997 Scottish Torssukatak Spires Expedition: second ascent of Agdlerussakasit, first ascent of Maujit Qaqarssuasia - 2000 British team with Ben Bransby, Matt Dickenson, Ian Parnell and Gareth Parry: first ascent of The Thumbnail - 2000 British Eastern Torssukatak Spires Expedition - 2003 Torssukatak Spires Expedition with Jon Roberts, Dewi Durban, James Mehigan and Richard Sonnerdale: The Cruise Line - 2003 Spanish/Brazilian team with Cecilia Buil and Roberta Nunes: Hidrofilia and first ascent of Maujit Qaqarssuasia east peak - 2007 Polish team with David Kaszlikowski and Eliza Kubarska: Golden Lunacy - 2010 US/Belgian Team with Bob Shepton and Dodo's Delight - 2012 Polish team with Alek Barszczewski, Marcin Ksiezak and Jaciek Kuczera: second ascent of Golden Lunacy - 2012 Swiss Torssukatak youth expedition - 2013 US team with Kearney, Scully, Dickey and Brett - 2013 Spanish/Basque team with Andres, Castro, and Escribano - 2014 Belgian pair Siebe Vanhee and Tim de Dobbeleer overland and kayak



2000: British Eastern Torssukatak Spires Expedition

Jon Bracey, Ian (Reny) Renshaw, Virginia Cooper, Steve Powell, Matt Goode, Vicky Barrett, Charlotte Mainwaring, and Alex Messenger spent three weeks climbing from a basecamp on the west side of Torssukatak Fjord, in a valley south of Whale Top (Point 1303), putting up first ascents in an area to the south of the mountains climbed in 1975, 1996 and 1997.




Overview of the Expedition and Routes Climbed

Inspired by some photos from the 1997 expedition, Jon Bracey put together a mixed team with a wide range of climbing abilities and ambitions. They flew from Stansted to Icland, and then on to Narsarssuaq, from where they took a helicopter to Nanortalik. They arrived by boat at base camp on August 4th, setting up 100m above the fjord, where the valley flattens, in the valley south of point 1303m (Whale Top). The group were immediately involved in assistance of the Thumbnail2000 team, after a tragic accident occurred.

Four days of rain followed, during which an advanced camp was set up further up the valley and some climbing was done.

1. Whale Top (1303m), first ascent, scrambled up. August 6th: Goode and Bracey.

2. Whaleback (1200m), first ascent, by south-west arete, 700m, ED. August 10th: Goode and Barrett.

3. Pyramid, first ascent, by north-west arete, 'Plankton', 600m, D. August 10th: Renshaw and Cooper.

4. Pyramid, attempt, by a central line, abandoned after 230m due to loose rock. August 10th: Bracey and Powell.

5. First ascent of 'The Back Passage', 115m, E3, 6a, leaving fixed ropes for descents and access to valleys to the north. August 11th: Bracey and Powell.

6. The Fly, first ascent, 500m, PD. August 11th: Mainwaring and Messenger.

7. Red Walls (south-west of the valley), attempt on central pillar, 450m, E4, retreat one pitch short of the summit due to loose rock. August 13th: Renshaw and Goode.

8. First ascent of 'Over Easy', 430m, TD, E2. August 13th: Bracey and Powell.

9. The Great White Spire (1050m), attempt on the south-west face, retreated after 170m of hard climbing to E4, due to vegetated seam. August 14th: Bracey and Powell.

10. The Crest (1180m), first ascent, a scramble, on the way over towards Frederiksdal. August 15th: Bracey.

11. The Crest (1180m), scramble. August 16th: Barrett and Messenger.

12. The Great White Spire (1050m), first ascent, by west ridge. August 17th: Bracey and Goode.

13. Flat Top (1120m), first ascent, by north-west ridge. August 17th: Bracey and Goode.

14. First ascent of 'Sunny Side Up', 490m, ED. August 17th: Renshaw and Powell.

15. First ascent of 'Submarine Wall', 220m, E3. August 18th: Goode and Barrett.

16. The Breakfast Spire (on western and left-hand side of the valley), attempt on the south-east face. Reny 'took a large fall one pitch from the summit when a flake snapped, smashing his heel. Retreat down the north face. Taken by helicopter to hospital in Nanortalik the next day. August 22nd: Bracey and Renshaw.

On August 25th, the boat collected the party and they travelled to Nanortalik, arriving back in England on August 31st.

For further information about the expedition, click here to read the expedition report in pdf form.




Website by Susannah Clark

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