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A holiday in Greenland 1968.

A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby gaffr » Wed Apr 01, 2020 3:09 pm

Date walked: 01/04/2020

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We had the opportunity to join, as a group of five, into the several groups of folks mainly SMC and Ladies climbing Club and few other collections of folks with there own ideas for spending time in Scoresby-land North East Greenland.
A flight was booked from Glasgow to Keflavik and after an overnight in Reykjavik in Iceland an old beaten up Dakota would take us to the landing strip at Mestersvig. When approaching Iceland we could see the cooling down wee island of Surtsey that had exploded out of the sea a few years earlier. I believe that now there is vegetation and some animal life now living on the island.
Very different days when using aircraft then....entry to the Boeing jet was through a large door at the rear of the plane and during the flight we could at take turns at seeing the flight from a Pilots view.
0 Camp beside a Fangsyte..jpg
Our first camp out from the Danish base was beside a wee hunters cabin...think that I am right to call it a Fangsyte.
1 The Munich folks at the second walk-in camp..jpg
Fine camping area beside the fjiord.

The Munich folks had a problem during the walk to this camp when the lost some kit and a tent during a stream crossing. The orange tent seen in the previous image was lent to them for the trip.
2 Who needs a tent..jpg
With the fine weather and wood that has probably travelled on the currents with trees washed out into the arctic ocean from rivers in USSR?
4 A loaded GT.jpg
We were five in our group...GT, Brian and Willie and with Tony and I.
4 Resting during walk in.jpg
Resting during the walk into the area of Gully Glacier. Our kit and food was taking in on an Avon inflatable with an old Seagull outbourd and the piloting of this craft shared by members of the Five...room an board for just one with the kit.
5 camp close to the glacier snout..jpg
A camp that had to be shifted very quickly after the glacier calved a few lumps of iceberg things....the resulting wave caused us all to act rapidly.
6 A tow for the Welsh boys.jpg
A Welsh group of lads were having some trouble with their engine so a wee bit of help was in order.
7 First camp on the glacier..jpg
Our first camp on Gully Glacier.
8 Edge of glacier travel.jpg
Quite a lot of jinking about to find a reasonable line through.
9 Several unintended inspections of the crevasses.jpg
Part of the problems of travelling in these areas.
10 Bend in Gully glacier.jpg
Progress being made towards a second camp on the ice.
13 A peak reached by  JMCS folks during an earlier visit..jpg
17 Norske Tinde Ridge.jpg
Tony and I tried to ascend by a rocky ridge around the corner from the Couloir but did not very far ...three pitches before we realised that we didn't have the skills to push on further.
16 The  Norsketinde couloir..jpg
Our high camp with the Couloir seen on Norsketinde behind.
15 extremely tortuous.jpg
14 With the wider crevasses it was posiible to get inside and then climb out..jpg
20 Brian roping up for the couloir..jpg
Brian getting roped up for the Couloir.
22 View from the summit ridge of Norske Tinde.jpg
View from the summit ridge.
21 close to the summit of Norsketinde..jpg
Close to the summit of Norseketinde
23 Roping down on Norske Tinde to get back onto the Couloir. (2).jpg
Roping down off the summit area back into the Couloir.
24 Brian and Willie beside King Oscar Fjiord.jpg
Brian and willie back at the Fjiord camp.
26 Gully Glacier reaches the Fjiord.jpg
Willie and I crossed over the Fjiord to have a look at a small peak on the far side of the area where the glacier reached the water.
27 Exploring.jpg
A bit of exploring.
29 Viking glacier.jpg
Brian and I made our way up to the Viking glacier to get to a small snow peak.
30 Scoresbyland camp.jpg
The sort out at a camp beside the Fjiord.

We made our way back to Danish Base to meet up with the rest of the groups...had a meal at the Base after which we were ready for the return to Iceland.
Such a big area that we, during our time there, made connections with just two of the groups operating in the area and a pleasant meeting with a Scottish group when close to the base with a few of the SMC folks who shared some of their fine rations with us.
Last edited by gaffr on Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:28 pm

Wow, that must be a truly wonderful memory. Seems like you were blessed with superb weather too.

I really enjoyed this report - thanks for posting.
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby dav2930 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:49 pm

What a stunning place. I imagine that in 1968 Greenland was a very unusual destination and most of the peaks you were looking at were unclimbed? It's understandable why it's become more popular nowadays, but still a real adventure to go there and with huge scope for new routes etc. Inspiring stuff. :clap:
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:56 pm

Excellent report, visiting would feel like a real adventure now let alone back then. Thank you so much for sharing your memories with us.
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Apr 02, 2020 10:23 pm

Love it, what a place
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby litljortindan » Fri Apr 03, 2020 9:39 am

A real treat and a rare treat by the looks of it -Googling Norsketind only got me two results and the one I looked at had no pictures of Norsketind itself. Thanks for sharing your trip report and memories!
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Re: A holiday in Greenland 1968.

Postby gaffr » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:45 am

As mentioned that there was a Scottish connection with Scoresbyland and visits made by JMCS groups before we visited.
In recent times I have read of the ascent of a fierce looking ridge on Dansketinde made by the Scottish based guide JP and some friends....perhaps, I am nor sure, with an approach using the Viking glacier?
I see that there was a post recently with reference to WH Murray. I never met the gentleman but I did know that he had sketched out the words for Mountaineering Scotland while in a prisoner of war camp in North Africa and had the written material confiscated while in the camp. I guess that what is the text for the Book was written when back in Scotland.
We did meet a major member of the 'Murray group' when in Glasgow airport when Bill MacKenzie was there 'seeing folks off'....I think that he had something to do with some of the arrangements for the trip My observations of this gentleman fitted the description that I had read about him being 'as wiry and lean as a courtyard cat' ....he looked fiercely tough.
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