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Date: 06 Aug 2018 22:36:25
Title: Should have brought a toothbrush

71:15.7N 21:47.5W
 
The 4th was a very successful boat day for Giles and myself (Olly) in which we managed drop the two groups off on their respective projects for the day, fill the boat and 10 25l containers full of fresh water from a near by stream (yayy hot showers for everyone), bake one of the better bread loafs of the trip so far (still not sure how and probably never to be repeated) and finally a successful pickup of the two victorious teams over their projects.
After a quick discussion in the cockpit over a beer about the next days plans, things soon got out of hand when it was decided that Giles and I would go and take on a particularly good looking mountain that we had seen a possible route up a snow gully and our departure time was after dinner that night to make use of the colder temperatures and better snow conditions.
Going on Mike's and Ash's progress and speed of the day we figured that we should be back down by about 6am and in time for breakfast.....and once again we managed to completely underestimate what we were about to take on.   
So after good meal, getting our kit sorted out and vaguely thinking I was now about to ruin my hard worked for shower and time would have been better served by getting a few hours sleep in we were dropped off on the beach by Ash.
The evening started with a pleasant 5km snow shoe in which we passed over a few benign glaciers and around some frozen glacial lakes. Not knowing what route we would come down the mountain we decided to leave the snow shoes and walking poles at a fork at the base where we could pick them up on the way back easily from any direction. We questioned whether to leave the gun at this point but soon worked out that our running skills were not up to the task and it would be unwise to come down the back of the mountain and travel for an hour over glacier with out it, so up it came with us.
One of the question marks at the beginning was whether we could reach the snow gully from the bottom as we couldn't see the whole mountain and we soon established there was another gully going all the way to the start of ours. This junction looked like it started just above two rocky outcrops side by side in the snow which we nicknamed "The Boobs"....the plan was looking like it might work. 
After changing to crampons and roping up we continued on over a few crevassed sections and eventually reached the base of the first snow gully in about 2 and a half hours from leaving the tender. So far our estimated timings were bang on which was a massive surprise after our past successes. Don't worry this will be short lived.
We started the ascent at about 11pm with Giles leading the way (which he did the whole way amazingly) on two 50m ropes and pitch 1 of 'we don't know how many because we lost count' began. We soon found that putting in protection was going to take a while as there were either very little features on the rock beside the snow or it was incredibly loose, which adds to the confidence levels when there are steep run offs and high exposure involved.
This first gulley eventually took the better part of 7 hours and we eventually got past "The Boobs" at about 6am. A quick call to the boat on the VHF to tell them we had nailed our timings again and wont be back for breakfast confirmed that our trip to Greenland is starting to take on an overall theme.
As we ascended past "The Boobs" we soon realised we couldn't find the second gulley (looking at it from the boat again we now realise we climbed straight past it). A quick check of the photo and we made the decision to keep climbing and go up a dry gulley to a ridge where we could get to the summit from. This all went well (but slowly) with a few technical rock climbs (which were made all the more difficult with a bloody rifle strapped to your bag) and we gained the ridge at about 3pm....and another call to the boat to tell them we wouldn't be home for lunch. 
A very exposed ridge scramble and a few more technical rock climbs and we gained the summit at about 6pm. The halfway point, and another call to say dinner was looking questionable.
We descended another route by downclimbing a few ridges and a series of 7 abseils (which Giles very nobley gave up some of his gear to the mountain) until we reached a snowy bowl which we could safely descend unroped until we reached the bottom of the mountain at about 9pm with an enormous sense of relief. An uneventful trip back to the boat by following our footsteps because of a thick fog set in followed. At this point we have to thank our colleagues on the boat for leaving a little food and drink cache halfway back because we were starting to get very hungry at this point.
We were back on the boat at 11pm where we had a hot meal waiting and were soon fed, showered and asleep. We decided to name the route "Should have brought a toothbrush" as it seems very fitting.
We have motored north today to find some more projects, a lot more sea ice around now so not sure how much further north we are going to go from here but we are still hoping to get to Kong Oscar.
I'm going back to bed now.
 
Olly
 
 
Our Mountain with the main gully on the left and our missed gully branching off to the right
Those two specs at the top are us....honest
 
 

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