AGDLERUSSAKASIT (THE THUMBNAIL), HIDROFILIA

Posted on: December 1, 2003


Our trip began on July 22 after a month of kayaking and climbing in the Pyrenees. Cecilia Buil, Gorka Ferro (kayak guide), Jesus Bosque (photographer) and I arrived in Greenland and traveled to Nanortalik in the southern end of the island. From there, we began our trip in kayaks. It was an incredible, three-day, eighty-kilometer journey through the arctic sea. The intense beauty was contrasted by fearful thoughts of rolling into the freezing water.

When we finally arrived at the base of Agdlerussakasit (The Thumbnail), it looked very pleasant, with fresh water and green grass. We spent four days looking for a route, and when we spotted a good possibility we felt confident. We wanted to go in alpine style — light and fast. We prepared two days' worth of food in order to advance the first 800 meters, but a giant, black, wet dihedral after Pitch 5 slowed us down. After climbing 820 meters in three days, we reached a large ledge. We decided to rest for a few days and walked off the large halfway ledge to the left of the wall and descended a couloir to our camp at the base of the wall. Just as we got down, it began to rain.

We rested for three days, and then the sun came out, accompanied by millions of mosquitoes — oh terror! We moved our kayaks closer to the main wall and climbed up the couloir; in six hours we were at the bivouac on the large ledge, ready for a 5 a.m. start. I could not sleep from so much electricity and excitement. Because I couldn't sleep I had the luck to see the aurora borealis. It was sooooo amazing! It was like spirits! The night passed quickly, and at 5 a.m. we started climbing with good rhythm, on good, clean rock and good protection, sun and lots of desire.

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With no pitches harder than 6c (5.11), the climbing on the last 800 meters was a true delight. We reached the beautiful, small summit at 6:30 p.m. — and we could see the fjords in the distance! It was so wonderful to reach a beautiful summit by a new route (Hidrofilia, VI 6c+/7a A2+, 31 pitches, 1620m). It was like touching something timeless and sacred. Cecilia and I exploded with happiness. It was a dream to have done something like this with another woman. The most beautiful detail: only two pitons! No bolts, only trad, with British-style spice. It was a learning experience, where the principal lesson was in the letting go of our own egos and living in the moment.

— Roberta Nunes, Curitiba, Brazil (translated by Felicia Hollenbaugh)



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