Arctic Mountains

G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains, East Greenland

May 25 2004 - Moving Day

By 07:30AM, the weather had cleared up. Outlook was yet again good for the Tromsø team. We guessed 10-15cm of snow had falled during the night. Some haze towards the coast, and it was difficult to tell if another snowfall was on the way. The plane landed 11:00AM, and after a quick pit stop, the Tromsø team left and a UK expedition arrived. Petter skied down and gave our new (calculated) position to the pilot, and got some leftover dinners. A warm thanks to the group from Tromsø for their generousity!

We waved the Tromsø team goodbye and welcomed the UK expedition. We were on our way by 12:30PM. Petter and Per Ove volunteered to pull the sledges. We decided to ski unroped down to the crevasse area and then put the ropes on. The snow was clearly noticeable, but not very deep. After one hour we saw the first crevasses and roped up. At least 5 long crevasses made us take one detour after the other. Ståle was leading across the crevasse area and did a good job. I was certainly noticing the heavy load on the back, and my back started to hurt after some hours. Ståle called for the necessary breaks, which made the long trip bearable given the weight of the backpacks.

The plan was to climb up a long 200m vertical meter uphill and camp on top. But at the start of the hill, a camp was requested. We put up all tents and I dug a toilet for the night. I was getting the hang of it now. We were excited about the view from the top of the hill. We would finally see our new "home" for the coming days. It was still a long way to go. We had just passed 69 deg. north today.

The major technical disappointment of the day was my new Åsnes skins. They had been working perfect while it was cold. But now that it was getting warmer (hot) during the day, the skins gathered too much snow. There was little to do but take them off and put vax on. Thanks to Petter's vax for 0 deg. C, I got just the required grip, in addition to my "Blue Extra". None of the other skins gathered snow, and I made a mental note to buy new ones once back home.

Ståle indicated that he wasn't too happy with the choice of skis. It was a lot more skiing (compared to uphill/downhill) than he had anticipated. Ståle was skiing on Dynastar 4x4 (Dynastar boots). Torstein had brought along Rossignol Bandit (177cm, Scarpa T3) while Per Ove had chosen Black Diamond Mira (175cm, Scarpa T2). Jan-Frode and I had chosen Åsnes Combi Compat Cap and Scarpa T4. Not sure what kind of skis Petter brought along, but he had classic mountain skis that held on to the vax. The others (except Petter) used skins, but as the days got warmer, I also started vaxing my skis.

In the evening, everyone except Petter gathered in Per Ove's and Ståle's tent. Petter had gone early to bed, and missed out on the party. This was a most enjoyable evening, with several drops of whisky and cognac. I made another mental note about their tent (Ferrino). We were 5 grown men in here, but it was by no means crowded. The general moral was good. We were "off to see new land", and many had probably the vision of 1st ascents in mind. Weather and temperature was pleasant. Bisquits were available when needed, and I looked very much forward to the 2nd week.

In addition to the Ferrino HL3 tent that Per Ove had brought along, we also had Helsport Svalbard 3+ and North Face VE 25 tents.

1. The morning after the snowfall (173KB) 2. The morning after the snowfall (144KB) 3. Tromso team is leaving (186KB) 4. Moving day has begun (258KB) 5. Nice weather. Will it hold? (222KB) 6. Petter and his sledge (99KB) 7. The weather is unclear around Gunnbjorn Fjeld (160KB) 8. In the crevasse area (169KB) 9. Passing long crevasses (124KB) 10. Crevasse in greater detail (146KB) 11. Skiing in wonderful landscape (172KB) 12. Weather yet again good near Gunnbjorn Fjeld (199KB) 13. Fun to see new mountains (124KB) 14. Having passed the crevasse area (129KB) 15. Starting on the long uphill (262KB)

No Javascript:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

May 24 May 26

G4 main page