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Date: 15 Aug 2018 13:20:49
Title: Back to Liverpool Land

70:58.5N 21:59.9W

Sunday/Monday 12/13th August 2018

Leaving King Oscar Fjord for an overnight motor-sail down to Liverpool Land had us rotating watches again. The light overnight was beautiful but became problematic in the early hours as it was very difficult to see the patches of sea ice that were left after some serious melting. The patches left over were extremely thin, barely breaking above the water and the purple light reflected from the sky did nothing to help pick them out. In the end we got used to assuming that patches of water that were glassy smooth to look at were in fact remnants of ice.

Later in the passage we encountered a greater extent of pack ice but this time in fog. As it was impossible to see any leads through we turned around and headed away from land and eventually skirting round the outside edge. The fog remained with us all the way into our chosen anchorage, navigation being primarily by radar.

Tuesday 14th August 2018

Mike and I had a climb today. Our original intention had been to ski up into a large glacial bowl and so we took Umiak round into the mouth of the glacier. Unfortunately we hadn’t been able to see into this last night when we arrived due to the fog and we were faced with a vertical ice front stretching across the whole fjord. There was no obvious way to surmount this and so a change of plan was called for.

 A peak near our anchorage in Mariager Fjord gave us a climb up a number of buttresses linked by wide ledges. Note to self here, if the mountain is coming down to meet you in the form of loose blocks of various sizes, it’s a really good idea to not look up. Fortunately my ruck-sack took the brunt of the largest. At least I won’t have to throw my helmet away as I didn’t get hit on the head! These scrambles finally led out onto a blocky ridge via a couple of shallow snow fields and then to a broad summit, (the 10th of the trip so far).

We chose to descend a different way and found much better quality rock; good enough for some single and multi-pitch rock climbing if time and inclination permit. We also possibly saw polar bear tracks in the snow but they were a bit indistinct. We have only seen one bear this trip but I do wonder how many bears might have seen us.

To finish the afternoon of we all had a bimble round into the next fjord in Umiak. It was interesting to see what we hadn’t as we arrived last night. It’s extremely beautiful here and is possibly the most impressive anchorage we’ve had to date. The next fjord looked equally impressive but as with where we are now, access to the mountains would prove very difficult from the shore.

Ian
The Impregnable Ice Front
Mike
Peak 10


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