60th Aniversary Greenland Expedition 2004.

Pamiagdluk Island, South Greenland


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Pt1300m from the NW
Peak 1300m.

Expedition Background

This is the final story of the Karabiner Mountaineering Club's 2004 Expedition to the island of Pamiagdluk, Southern Greenland, near Cape Farewell. A mixed team of 12 headed out by plane, helicopter and boat to near the head of Kangerdluarssuk fjord, deep in the heart of Pamiagdluk, an area not previously recorded as having a climbing team visit. The team had a mixed bag of weather, but with fine spells at the start and end, and managed to put up on few new lengthy new rock routes on the western side of the fjord, do much cragging, and some likely first ascents of various peaks. The expedition was considered a success for the majority, and many had their first experience of an expedition.

The expedition began as an idea amongst a small, slightly inebriated core group in November 2003 with the thought that, as 2004 was the 60th anniversary of the KMC, something special should be done to mark the occasion. As there had been an expedition to East Greenland in 1994, it seemed appropriate to run an expedition to somewhere in Greenland, and open it out to all members of the club and immediate friends, so all could gain expedition experience. With Greenland being the world's largest island, the question was "where". We duly consulted with the Club's Greenland guru, Jim Gregson, who gave us essentially two choices - the sunny, snow clad hills of Eastern Greenland, or the "wet" non-snow covered peaks of Southern Greenland. His photos of blue skies and snow looked brilliant but in the end we opted for the rock of the South. We all preferred primarily rock climbing, with but one of us being keen on skiing, we wanted it to be open to as wide a group as possible, and there was the factor of the prospect of hiring Twin Otter planes sending frissons of anxiety through our bank managers. Thus, with the admonition "it'll rain all the time!" ringing in our ears, we set out to research climbing at the southern tip of Greenland.

Our objectives were to explore, and establish new rock and mountaineering routes of all grades on the western side of Kangerdluarssuk Fjord, Pamiagdluk Island. Interesting looking climbing targets looked like the steep SW facing wall of point 1300m close to the proposed camp at the head of an inlet off the fjord. The Baron from the East was a possibility. The peaks of Sermikasik and Umanangua, etc. south of the Baron should be first ascents. There ought to be potential for new routes all round the 1300m-1030m massif. The Qaqarssuaq massif could be explored from the south for routes. And nothing had been recorded heading up from the eastern side of the fjord, though there was greater doubt as to its accessibility. We obtained support from the MEF, the BMC and the Club.

The final reports, and routes climbed, are now available on this site. You can also see what our' section of the island looked like, and gain an impression of the expedition here, as well as viewing some of the members pictures. It's a great area, perhaps best described as the "Chamonix Aiguilles with icebergs".

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