Well known German alpinist Ines Papert recently teamed up with Jon Walsh and Joshua Lavigne for an adventurous trip to Baffin Island in search of new free routes.
The teams main objective was the North Face of Asgard but first to get going they climbed a line on the nearby south buttress of Mount Loki 'A continuous crack system from glacier to summit enticed us, and we climbed it in thirteen 60-meter pitches.' wrote Walsh on his blog report 'Old rappel stations were encountered the whole way. We suspect we repeated the only route described in the guidebook, put up by Kiwi climbers some 20 years earlier. It was likely the second ascent, first free ascent, and was very similar in quality and length to the Bugaboos ultra classic Becky Chouinard.'
After a rest the team focussed on Asgard, using 75m ropes and sharing 2 sleeping bags zipped together for all 3 of them, they gradually pieced together aline up the North Face. Despite route finding problems at one point and some difficult visibility the team made it to the summit at 11pm on their second day. Walsh reported on his blog 'All 29-pitches of our route were free climbed, on-sight, except for a five-meter section of icy squeeze chimney with verglassed walls. Had it been dry, it would have been a straightforward bit of 5.10. It was the only aid on the route save for one wet move on the final pitch. Technically, the hardest climbing had been 5.11+, which was certainly easier than we had expected, and the route would be a good candidate for one-day, all-free attempt, for a two-person team.'
The team would like to thank their sponsors Arcteryx, Mountain Equipment Coop, The Inspire Award, Black Diamond, Scarpa, Lowa, Vega, Julbo, Gore-Tex, Stoked Roasted.