We awoke late. Nevertheless we went ahead with our attempt to climb Rubicon (1,700m) – a mountain forming part of the east flank of the Qinguadalen valley. It was a beautiful day; a cloudless azure sky, a bright sun and no wind. However such a day is not altogether perfect. In the valley a myriad of mosquitoes and black flies took advantage of the fine weather and attacked us relentlessly. Once above biting insect level at around 500m, we breathed a sigh of relief. Continue reading “Rubicon”
I don’t care for clutter and am not the sort of person who keeps old letters and the like for very long. So I could rarely be bothered keeping a diary or log of my activities; memory would suffice, I naively thought, as I now discover that my recall of events isn’t as clear as I would have hoped. It is with some envy, therefore, that I regard those of us who did take the trouble to put their thoughts/drawings on paper and I am curious to know how I would now react to reading the words of my younger persona. I’ll never know. However, occasionally, a simple sensory stimulus brings memories flooding back. The other day I discovered a tube of Snik sun-block glacier cream and its distinctive odour transported me to a rocky Greenland ridge. It’s the same with music. Continue reading “Here comes the sun”
If I were to list personal items that contributed to making the 1971 University of St. Andrews Greenland Expedition an enjoyable experience I would have to include my tobacco pipe. It had a number of functions. Continue reading “Tobacco Pipe”
Cardinal was one of the longest days I’d ever had….
….but it wasn’t as long as our day on Alpentop. This wasn’t such a big mountain, but our route was much harder and more hazardous. There was a vile, greasy, Hard-Severe pitch on it – just as well John was with us – all the scrambling was loose and dangerous (one simply got used to scrambling up rotten pitches of Diff rock unroped) and we were late at the summit. I recall our bivouac ledge: sitting on a sheet of ice on ropes which ever so slowly slid away under our cold backsides. Continue reading “Alpentop”
Although I had seen big mountains in the Eastern Alps, the Cardinal of Qinguadalen was by far the most impressive peak I had ever set eyes on. It seemed incredible that we were planning to climb it. I couldn’t see how this might be achieved. We spent a day in reconnaissance. Bob and Richard went one way, John and I another. Continue reading “The Cardinal”
A strange image to get nostalgic about – two of our team busy feeding a cement mixer which in turn is producing the mix for a supply of concrete-teethed blocks. These blocks were to protect a new water supply from icebergs as the pipeline crossed the seabed of a small inlet. Continue reading “Nostalgia for Nanortalik”