I recently returned from 3 weeks in Greenland with a team of Mountain Hardwear athletes. It was an absolutely amazing trip, to say the least. We went in search of walls and boulders to climb, and we were not disappointed. The cirque we ended up in, located near the 67th parallel, was the most beautiful place I have ever seen, and it was full of things to climb.
The team consisted of myself, Ethan Pringle, Mike Libecki, and photographer Keith Ladzinski. We had a loose plan to try to climb something as a group, if the opportunity presented itself. However, after getting rained out of a summit attempt via a ridge route, Mike and Ethan focused their energy on a big wall and I turned my sights to the boulders.
I was very pleased with what I found. There were many boulders in the area, some of very high quality and some on the chossier end of the spectrum. The variety of climbing was very interesting, and while all the boulders appeared to be some form of granite, the feel of the rock changed greatly depending on where the boulders were located in relationship to the glacier. Everything that was higher up in the cirque near the glacier was clean, while everything near camp was plastered in moss and vegetation. Some of the boulders felt like sandstone, which I love, while others were more typical granite boulders.
Due to our short time frame (just two weeks in the field), some bad weather, and limited resources (spotters, bouldering partners, pads), I didn't get to climb everything I found. I did, however, do about 10 FA's that I was psyched on. I plan to write about each boulder in more detail, but here are a few photos of boulder problems I established.
It was a great learning process for me to develop boulders. I have never really been to a virgin bouldering area, so everything about the experience was new for me. Parts of it were very difficult and frustrating, while other parts were extremely fun and rewarding. I knew that development was a time-consuming process, but I now have a new-found respect for people who devote their time to establishing new routes and boulder problems. It is not an easy job, but it is well worth every second poured into it.
I truly enjoyed my time in Greenland. It was a unique opportunity, and I feel lucky to have spent even a short amount of time in such a pristine area doing what I love. I hope that I have similar opportunities in the future, because I would love to take what I have learned from this experience to another unexplored area to establish more new boulder problems.
I have posted many photos from my trip at Angiepayne.com, and I plan to post even more in the near future.