This website uses cookies. By using this site your consent to their entry or use. For more information, Privacy Policy .
cookies_button

Gunnbjorn Fjeld

CLIMBING THE HIGHEST PEAK OF GREENLAND - 3694 M ASL

Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld
Gunnbjorn Fjeld

CLIMBING THE HIGHEST PEAK OF GREENLAND - 3694 M ASL

Climbed for the first time in 1936by Wager and Coultards, the members of a British and Danish expedition. It was known better only in 2004 when the Norwegian expedition made the measurements of the remaining ten peaks situated, just like the Ice Mountain, in Watkins Range.

Only 40 people stood on the top of the mountain 3694 m ASL, including one Polish woman, Marzena Kaczmarska PhD, a glaciologist associated with the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromso. However, no Polish polar expeditions has ever climbed the highest peak of Greenland. For this reason, me and my companion travelers and climbers - Leszek Cichy, Tomasz Walkiewicz, Mirosław Polowiec oraz Ryszard Rusinek, agreed that climbing Gunnbjørn Fjeld would be an important point in the history of Polish exploration.

We divided the whole expedition into four stages: sailing to Iceland with the cruise lines, flying to Greenland with an airplane adjusted to landing on an ice field, a few days walk to the foot of the mountain and the final climb to the summit. The mountain itself is not remarkably high but climbing it is hampered by hard weather conditions – from extreme temperatures reaching several tens below zero to plus temperature melting the glacier and snow, the wind and poor visibility. We knew that that the weather is likely to become our greatest opponent. Our concern grew bigger by the fact that we had not influence on it at all.

It turned out that our concerns were well grounded. When we arrived at Greenland the conditions were perfect – sun and no wind. The forecasts left no doubts – an unavoidable weather deterioration was approaching. We had to start the race with time and try to climb the summit as soon as possible. We had only about a dozen hours to do it.

We hit the road. The climb was good but there were more and more clouds coming over the sky and the wind was getting stronger. About 150 before the summit a blizzard and fog came. Visibility was near zero, fresh snow was covering out track from several hours ago which we tried to follow. Finding the way to the base in these conditions would border on the miraculous. After several hours of weaving on our way and strenuous walk in the deep fresh snow in the terrible cold we finally saw our tents. Everybody breathed with relief.

We had to spend another three days in the tents. It was only on the fourth day that the storm died down and the weather permitted for another attempt to climb the summit. This time we chose another route. The weather was fine but a layer of wet snow was slowing out trek remarkably. After 12 hours of exhausting climb, however, we managed to reach the top in the evening! The retreat took us the whole night. At dawn next day we were at the base already. When we reached the tents the weather aggravated again. We were incredibly lucky.