Greenland - a dirtbag expedition

By Alpkit

“we just want to go and climb big and make a statement for the everyday dirtbag climber”
Fed up with reading the same old stories of the proclaimed ‘rock stars’ doing this and that, three friends have got psyched to do something for themselves and to “show the general climbing masses that if you have your shit together, ‘think big’, apply yourself and go do it- you can live the dream!” Leo Holding on Baffin Island, inspiring for sure, but well funded and probably much harder than most of us can dream of. Now why should inspiration come from just those in the limelight? The World is open to everyone to explore and inspire each other, what ever your level. We’ll let them take on the story….

We are three good friends, Yorkshireman Jonny Briggs, Graeme Glover (a hairy Scotsman) and Essex boy Josh Glanvill. We met at Plas y Brenin doing a four month long instructor course in January 2008, and we have been good friends and climbing partners ever since. After noticing a small picture of the Fox Jaw Cirque in the back of Vertical magazine, Graeme planted a seed in Jon’s head that they should go to Greenland and attempt a new route. It didn’t take much to convince Josh to sign up, and the dirtbag expedition team was born.


Josh and John, ‘His and Hers’ you have to match to climb

The main objective is to climb at least one new route in the most ethically sound style possible, with the secondary objective of doing a full traverse of the entire Fox Jaw ridge. As we are a long way from being world-class climbers, the resulting route will hopefully open up the area to more everyday climbers like us. That’s not to say that we are underestimating the challenge of our objective; we have been training hard over the last few months, especially working on our rope- rescue techniques and clean aid skills.


Graeme and Josh on the first of many belays

Leaving from London, Gatwick and flying to Iceland where we will spend 2 nights as we wait for our onward flight to Greenland. Arriving in Kuluusuq, Greenland we must then fly to Tassilaq where we pick up our shippment of food and equipment from the harbour. Then onward to our final stop in civilisation, Kummuuitt (population 26). We shall then take a small fishing boat up the fjord as far as the melting sea ice allows. From our drop off point in the fjord, we shall then start to shuttle our gear/food for the 25 km or so to the bottom of the Fox Jaw valley (population nil), where our base camp will be. We shall be traveling over glacial morraine mainly, interspersed with some boulder fields, patches of plant life and icey glacial run off which will be providing our water source. We will then set up our base camp, have 2 days sorting our equipment and food rations and relaxing before the challange begins. We shall then start to scope out what possible lines of weakness the walls have and begin to make our decision on which will be our route!

We would like to give huge thanks to Alpkit for their support and interest in our ongoing adventure.

For more information about our training, and to see how we get on and to access our blog, check out Greenland Expedition

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