Team Glitterbomb Finds Gold and Sorrow in Greenland

Team Glitterbomb on top of the Barnes Wall

Team Glitterbomb on top of the Barnes Wall. Photo courtesy of

Team Glitterbomb, the trio of Quinn Brett, Prairie Ciel Larronde Kearney, and Lizzy Scully, along with climber/photographer John Dickey, climbed two new long free routes and a shorter climb in southern Greenland, before the death of a friend back home cut their trip two weeks short.

The team traveled to Torssuqatoq Fjord, a little-visited area of spectacular granite fins and spires to the southeast of the better-known Tasermiut Fjord. After the long plane, helicopter, and boat journey to reach base camp, the climbers quickly completed three new routes in their first week in the area.

Breakfast Spire is the beautiful turret in center left.

Breakfast Spire is the beautiful turret in center left. The team climbed the shadowed knife-edge ridge to reach the sunny headwall and the top. Photo courtesy of Lizzy Scully..

One of the two biggest new routes was Morning Luxury (1,400', 5.11a/b) on the Breakfast Spire, a huge tower that may only have been climbed once before, by a Belgian-American team that traversed to the spire from a neighboring peak in 2010. The Glitterbombers followed a knife-edge ridge that arced up to a headwall leading to the top, and then rappelled the steep wall to its right.

Plenty for Everyone on the Barnes Wall.

Plenty for Everyone on the Barnes Wall. Photo courtesy of Quinn Brett.

The second big route was Plenty for Everyone (1,800', 5.10+/11-), the most prominent prow on a large formation to the south of Breakfast Spire. This is believed to be the first technical route to this summit.

Unfortunately, after another short new route, the expedition's luck began to go south. Scully suffered a serious burn on one foot when a pot of water spilled on it, and then the team learned that a close friend, Andrew Barnes, had died in an accident in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in Colorado. (Barnes' body was discovered at the base of the Painted Wall; he is believed to have been soloing a route on the wall, likely the Southern Arête, when he fell on July 5.) At this point, the entire team decided to pull the plug and head for home. In memory of their friend, they decided to call the formation climbed via Plenty for Everyone the Barnes Wall.

See more photos of the area at the expedition website, and read Scully's post about the sad end to the trip at the Mountain Gear blog.

Dates of ascents: June-July 2013

Sources: Lizzy Scully, Quinn Brett,, Mountain Gear, Lindsay Griffin, American Alpine Journal