Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 20 2004 - Dome (Qaqqaq Kershaw)

Rise and shine 07:00AM. Freezing cold outside. Porridge and hot drink do wonders. We departed 09:30AM. Jan-Frode was already on the way. I passed him and waited for the group at a beautiful viewpoint near a crevasse. Everyone put on their harness, as we weren't sure what the crevasse looked like. The Tromsø team said they were roped upon ascent, but not upon their descent.

The crevasse didn't look too bad, and we never used the rope. We arrived on the top of the hill, and the arrival was quite thrilling. It looked like an "abyss" between us and the Dome ridge. Once up, a quite trivial downhill provided the necessary connection with the northeast ridge of Dome. Most of us parked the skis on the hill, but Torstein and Per Ove had plans to ski down this mountain as well.

We were quite high on the mountain, and I felt no headache and nausea. The camp at 2800m must have done wonders. I was overwhelmingly happy, and looked forward to spending time on the summit. And, the northeast ridge looked like a long, fun walk. It must have been the coldest day on any summit so far on the trip. I put on a face mask, but after one breath, I couldn't see anything through my sunglasses.

After a long ridge walk (the ridge is approx. 1Km!!), we reached the summit 12:30PM. Torstein was the first to arrive the summit, then myself, Petter, Per Ove, Ståle and Jan-Frode. Exactly the same order as on Gunnbjørn Fjeld. Some coincidence. We studied the southwest ridge and concluded that we had followed the most interesting ridge to the top. Everyone gathered on the summit, and despite the cold, we enjoyed the mighty views.

We left Dome 13:10PM, and I watched Torstein and Per Ove ski down from the ridge to the glacier on the south side. They passed a couple of crevasses and joined us at the end of the ridge. Once the skis were back on, I skied back down and reached the camp 14:30PM. The others soon followed. Per Ove and Torstein took a different route down the last 200 vertical meters. This was so much fun that they walked back up again to the top of the hill later on. Ståle joined them. The Tromsø team passed 18:30PM, and reported a cold, but great day on Cone. 4 of them had skied down from Cone summit.

Finally a good day in the mountains. No headache or nausea. The trip up to Dome was cold, but by no means exhausting. Things were looking brighter. I looked forward to the Cone ascent the next day. We were almost taking the brilliant weather for granted. Still, I was hungry and thirsty most of the time. It takes time to boil the daily 12 liters of water for 6 people. With trips every day, 2 liters of water per day felt way too little. But we managed, which was the important thing.

The light is amazingly bright here. One wouldn't last long without sunglasses or goggles. I remember Ståle said back in BC that there was twice as much light here compared to Jotunheimen, Norway. Everyone was taking photographs. Petter, Per Ove and I pointed our digital cameras in any direction, while Ståle had two analog cameras (one color, one b/w).

1. On the way to Dome (148KB) 2. On the way to Dome. Jan-Frode ahead of me (189KB) 3. On the way to Dome. Cone in the backgroiund (319KB) 4. On the way to Dome (268KB) 5. Ocean view. Happy the clouds are far away (233KB) 6. Wild features below Dome (193KB) 7. The Dome northeast ridge (280KB) 8. On the way up the ridge (84KB) 9. On the way up the ridge (323KB) 10. Staale on the Dome ridge (167KB) 11. Petter on the Dome ridge (130KB) 12. Per Ove on the Dome ridge (265KB) 13. Jan-Frode on the Dome ridge (131KB) 14. Torstein on Dome summit (194KB) 15. Arnt on Dome summit (149KB) 16. Dome summit view (401KB) 17. Dome summit view (431KB) 18. The group on Dome summit (141KB) 19. Petter on Dome (414KB) 20. Torstein and Petter on Dome (149KB) 21. Torstein and his goggles (122KB) 22. Tromso team is heading for Cone (270KB) 23. The skiers are preparing (191KB) 24.. and the walkers are already moving (249KB) 25. Per Ove skiing down Dome (102KB) 26. Per Ove skiing down Dome (160KB) 27. Wild mountains seen from the Dome ridge (294KB) 28. Per Ove skiing down Dome (204KB) 29. Skiing in exciting terrain (229KB) 30. Torstein skiing down to ABC (246KB) 31. Staale leaves his signature above ABC (239KB) 32. Greenland artwork (314KB) 33. Tromso team returning from Cone (211KB)

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