MT. THOR, WEST FACE

Posted on: December 1, 2002


Three of us, Marcin Tomaszewski, Chris Belczynski and Michal Bulik (Poland), traveled to Gibbs Fjord in early July. Inspection of Mt. Thor's west face showed that the most obvious lines had already been climbed. Moreover, recent routes (apart from Jim Beyer's Project Mayhem) required extensive drilling. The only remaining logical line ascended the north-facing vertical flank just right of the main west face. Over eighteen consecutive days we climbed Absolute End (VI 5.11 A4, 1370m), a new line on this flank. The route follows a system of seams/cracks and dihedrals, sporadically broken by roofs or short vertical blank sections (which were either hooked or free climbed). The route was opened in capsule style, with three portaledge camps established along the climb. We reached the ridge after 1070 meters followed by 300 meters of easy climbing (up to 5.6) to the top of Thor, which we reached on August 1.

The main difficulties of the line included aiding loosely attached pillars and expanding flakes. For the first nine days the wall was hidden in fog and battered by rain, snow and high winds. However, during the rest of our time we experienced good weather. We survived rock- and icefall a couple of times almost without injury, and none of us took a fall longer than ten meters. We dedicated our route to the Japanese climber Go Abe, who died trying to solo a new route on Thor some years ago.

— Chris Belczynski, Marcin Tomaszewski, Poland

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