Polish climbers David Kashlikowski and Eliza Kubarska have completed an all-free route on the 4,900-foot sea cliff of the Thumbnail at the southern tip of Greenland. After approaching the cliff by sea kayaks through Torssuqatoq Sound, the two climbed the first half of the wall over four days, reaching a big ledge system. Then a severe storm forced them to escape down a dangerous snow gully left of the face, with no crampons or ice tools. Rain fell for the next week. After the storm cleared, the two reclimbed the snow gully to reach the midway ledge, and then, after a bivouac, climbed to the summit in 10 and a half hours.
The new route, Golden Lunacy, has free-climbing up to 5.12a on good granite, with wet offwidths adding some spice. The two placed two protection bolts and three belay bolts on the route and approached the climb like an alpine peak, bivying on ledges and using fixed ropes only at the base to protect the traverse from their kayak. In all, including traverses and scrambling, they climbed about 2,000 meters.
The upper part of Golden Lunacy may share some ground with the 2003 route Hidrofilia, climbed by Cecilia Buil and Roberta Nunes, with difficulties up to 5.11 A2. The main cliff on the Thumnail was first climbed in 2000 by Britons Ben Bransby, Matt Dickinson, Ian Parnell, and Gareth Parry, who redpointed a 31-pitch direct route up the face (E6 6b/5.12c) without going to the mountain’s summit.
Prune fingers: Not the best for crimping. Photo by David Kashilikowski / www.verticalvision.pl