Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 23 2004 - "Peak Bergen", Peak 3535 and Peak 3503

The good weather had returned. We got up 05:20AM and were on our way up the glacier towards Gunnbjørn Fjeld by 06:55AM. So far, I was under the impression that everyone were heading to Peak 3503. Petter had announced this peak as 3603, being the 5th highest mountain on Greenland. A few days later, it was discovered that the map height was wrong, and the actual height was 3503m.

Halfway up the glacier, Torstein and Per Ove left the group and headed towards a sharp peak that we later referred to as "Peak Bergen". We didn't know if the peak had been climbed, and there was no height or name on the map. As such, we needed a name to refer to it by.

I was a bit envious (in a positive way) when I saw Torstein and Per Ove left. The peak looked mighty fine. But there was no way I wanted to slow them down. I know the difference between two and three in a rope. Besides, I didn't know for sure if they would be using a rope (shiver). I decided to be happy with whatever peaks that were awaiting higher up on the glacier.

The plans kept changing. Jan-Frode turned around and Petter had convinced Ståle that he should come along to Peak 3503 (was: 3603). Ståle had originally had his eyes on Peak 3535, but now I was the only one heading there.

Petter expected that no one in the group went off on solo projects. Although I fully agree to his point of view, I was quite unhappy with the outlook of getting no peaks because of this rule. Very bad blisters on the legs prevented me from a longer ski-trip, especially now that we were probably moving out the very next day. Peak 3535 was child's play, and I told Petter that if he didn't issue a "solo permit", I might as well turn around. He wanted to see the peak before I was granted the permission, and by the time we hit the high saddle at 3300m, I was given GO for Peak 3535.

Torstein and Per Ove were making progress on "Peak Bergen". Ståle and Petter disappeared on their quest for Peak 3503. Although it is always nice to share a mountain with others, being alone up here also had a certain "flavour".

A headache had emerged on the journey up the glacier. It was now pounding, and I also felt a bit sick. I felt all bad fortune stumble upon me, now having lost the high altitude capabilities I had built up on the Cone/Dome glacier. Two nights in BC, and I was back to scratch. I reached the summit of Peak 3535, and the rest of the group were just dots in the horizon. I shot a few pictures and headed immediately back down.

I left some tracks (a signature) in the snow where Petter and I parted, so Petter would know I had returned. Infact, they could see me the whole way. On my way down the glacier, I noticed Per Ove and Torstein were on the high ridge on "Peak Bergen". At 13:25PM, I was back in camp and went straight to sleep. 15:30PM, Torstein and Per Ove returned, and my skull was fairly functionable by then. Petter and Ståle returned 17:00PM, and Ståle looked a bit tired.

While cooking dinner, we noticed we had miscalculated number of dinners. That shouldn't really be possible, but it was nevertheless a fact. We were missing 3 dinners. Torstein paid a social call to the Tromsø camp, and learned that they had plenty of extra food, since they were stuck on Iceland for days. They would be flying out the day after, and didn't need the dinners. But naturally, they held on to the food until it was clear that they would be able to fly out. Instead of dinners, Torstein returned to camp with a lot of goodies (chocolate, bisquits, and even peanuts) that they felt like disposing of. We didn't need all this stuff, but we bowed politely as it was a very welcome surprise.

Torstein and I were having bisquits, cheese and peanuts in the tent, and the spirit was very good. He spoke about the ascent of Peak Bergen and tried to imitate the roaring in the snow as it settled. Scary stuff. I was getting more and more keen on moving camp, especially since the headache and nausea was back above 3000m. We had enough goodies for luxury, the dinner problem seemed to have been settled, the good weather was back, and we would be moving out soon. I fell asleep, thinking about moving out tomorrow.

Peak 3535:

1. On the way up the glacier. Again (237KB) 2. Gunnbjorn Fjeld (113KB) 3. Cone comes into view (317KB) 4. Cone seen from Peak 3535 (241KB) 5. Summit view from Peak 3535 (349KB) 6. Summit view from Peak 3535 (530KB) 7. Summit view from Peak 3535 (425KB) 8. Heading back down after Peak 3535 (333KB) 9. Passing Peak Bergen (277KB)

"Peak Bergen" (Torstein/Per Ove)

10. Torstein and peak Bergen (136KB) 11. Approaching the foot of Peak Bergen (150KB) 12. Torstein and lots of equipment (111KB) 13. Torstein leads the way (218KB) 14. Taking a closer view (195KB) 15. UGLY STEEP!! (210KB) 16. Per Ove doing handy work on Peak Bergen (203KB) 17. Torstein on the summit (98KB) 18. View from the summit (161KB) 19. Per Ove closing in (204KB) 20. Per Ove on the summit (47KB) 21. View from Bergen Peak (206KB) 22. You are not skiing down here, Per Ove (138KB) 23. Descending Peak Bergen (89KB) 24. Back down, safe and sound (118KB)

Evening shot:

25. The Tromso team and an icefall (65KB)

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