Big New Route on Greenland's "Impossible Wall"

The Devil's Brew on the Seagull Wall. Photo courtesy of Favresse Archive

The Devil

News link: In mid-July, brothers Nicolas and Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva, and Ben Ditto established The Devil's Brew, an 850-meter route on the Seagull Wall, a steep rock face on the west coast of Greenland. The expedition team completed the ascent with the help of Bob Shepton, a sailor who saw the potential on the wall and helped the team with transport.

Previously on the expedition, the team put up two 400-meter routes on the fjords of Greenland called Seagull's Garden and Red Chili Cracker.

Below is the team's write-up of The Devil's Brew:

“Impossible mais possible après tout.”

“I’ve been looking at that wall for twelve years, but I’ve never found any team good enough,” Bob Shepton winner of the 2009 Tilman medal.

The Devil's Brew. Photo courtesy of Favresse Archive

The Devil

On July 12, we committed to “the impossible wall.” After 8 days, we found ourselves on the summit on July 22. So how is it possible that we passed 11 days in only 8, you might be asking yourself? The answer, my friend, lies in the burning midnight sun and 30-hour days or nights, or whatever you want to call it. Our efforts on the wall and on our musical instruments yield probably the most adventurous route we have ever done. It has everything: grassy cracks, spongy mossy cracks, licheny faces, kitty litter offwidths and an inbuilt shower. We got rained on, we got shat on, and we got vomited on. We now understand better why the locals call it Seagull Wall. Every pitch of the 850-meter wall offered incredible beautiful sustained climbing, always challenging, on superb quality granite. We are very happy to have free climbed the whole thing (if grabbing grass is accepted as free). We decided to name this new line The Devil’s Brew after a little present we offered Bob when we first met him and which he calls the Devil’s Brew. Also, it remarkably resembles the water running from a black hole which we collected on the wall, both in colour and taste.

We are particularly proud that we left nothing behind: no bolts, no pitons, no cordelette. The only things repetitors may find extra are a few more brown falcons on the wall, but we suspect they have already left. We topped out on the summit with all our gear and portaledges and hiked down to the coast and celebrated our adventure with champagne and freshly caught fish. Later that night, we awoke to a raging storm that lasted for a few days, so we were very unfortunate not to have experienced that while still on the wall.

For more on the expedition, please visit