Huge 5.13d Established on Baffin Island


Throughout June and July, Eneko and Iker Pou, Hansjörg Auer, Riky Felderer, Ben Lepesant, Matteo Mocellin, and William Peterson established four new free climbs in Baffin Island's "Perfection Valley," an area previously unexplored by climbers on the island's east coast. "The logistic is much more complicated, the region is way more remote, the temperatures are much lower, and the polar bear is a serious fact to know," Auer said on his blog, in relation to the more well-known Mt. Asgard climbs.

Once settled into base camp, the team spent more than two weeks on their first route, what's likely Baffin's hardest free climb: The Door (5.13d, 16 pitches). This ca. 2,000-foot-tall route goes up what they called Belly Tower. They endured freezing temperatures and precipitation at the beginning of working out the route, and they completed the line on July 7. Read Auer's first-hand account on his blog.

After recuperating at base camp, the team headed to a nearby peak they called the White Wall. In just one day, they put up two climbs called Hotel Monica (5.10d) and Hotel Gina (5.10d), both about 1,500 feet tall and six pitches long.

Then on July 17, the Pou brothers and Auer established Levi is Coming (5.10, 11 pitches) on Mt. Cook.

There are several other long 5.13s lining the walls of Baffin Island. Earlier this month, Alexander and Thomas Huber and Mario Walder completed a 5.13 on Mt. Asgard's South Tower. In 2008, a German expedition led by Stefan Glowacz and Robert Jasper finished the first ascent of a 21-pitch 5.13.

Dates of ascents: June-July, 2012