Taking on a 4 month, 6000 mile climbing expedition to Greenland

Ben, Indie and Chris are this year staging a 6000 mile 4 month sailing and climbing expedition to north west Greenland and the North West...

Ben Kent
By Ben Kent

13/05/24

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Ben, Indie and Chris are this year staging a 6000 mile 4 month sailing and climbing expedition to north west Greenland and the North West passage to climb some big wall first ascents.

 

 

They have identified some 600m-800m walls 600km inside the Arctic Circle which we hope to manage a first ascent on with difficulties up to E5/E6.

 

 

 

They expect to be on the wall for 6-10 days and therefor decided to reach out to us because of our really high energy products. They've decided to do a very fast and light approach to the climbing and so hunted down food that they could take that has a really high energy-weight ratio with no stomach discomfort.

 

Their aim is to both document the climbing but also the environmental damage climate change is doing to the wildlife and local communities and their traditions in Greenland and the Inuit territory of the northern passages. 

 

 

 

Before they departed, we caught up with Ben.

 

When did this idea come into your heads?

 

We all remember watching Alastair Lee’s Asgard Project when I was young at the Kendal Mountain festival way back in 2009 and it just inspired me so much. It Just made me want to go suffer and try hard in wild places!

 

How are you feeling about the trip?


Excited! Its been a long few months getting all the last minute planning together! Its certainly the biggest mission we’ve all ever tried so it feels great to finally get it over the line and set off! Next step will just be the 2 month sail to the wall!

 

What are you looking forward to most?

 

 

Definitely the idea of being able to look at a whole Fjord of mountains and knowing every single bit of rock is an untouched line! Coming from an area with such a rich history of climbing like the lakes untouched rock is something of a rarity!
Also to be able to witness one of the last true wildernesses on our planet in person, the whole population of Greenland can comfortably fit inside most premier league football stadiums and Greenland is the ‘populated’ bit of the trip!

 

What challenges do you think you’ll face?

 

 


The biggest challenge for us is certainly the wall itself. Nobody has ever touched it so we really wont know how hard it actually will be until we touch it! There will be real unknowns in the route finding department when you're on such a big piece of rock. Two meters of deviation could mean you might end up miles away from where you wanted to be horizontally when you go up another 600 or 700 meters vertically.
And then of course the ice… we certainly all know what happened to the Titanic!

 

How are you planning your nutrition throughout the trip?

 


We were all pretty disappointed when we realised pork pies sadly weren’t ample nutrition for a 4 month expedition. What do you buy when you wont see a shop for a whole summer?!

 

We’ve gone for the plan of fish as much as we can! However for the wall it got a bit more complicated, we've opted for a mixture of dehydrated food such as dahls and bean chillies (dutifully cooked and dried by Indie) for our wall meals along with a multitude of VOOM products to fuel our energy for the consecutive days of long hard hours we expect.


What were your top 5 packing essentials?

 



1. Eyeshades (it wont be going dark very often)

2. VOOM recovery fudge (no need to explain this one!)

3. Spare ropes! Arctic walls and loose rock are a match made in heaven

4. Flare guns! Those big white cuddly bears don't look too cuddly when they are eyeing you up for a tasty meal

5. Drone, you might think for filming but no! (Well yes.. but they are also incredibly useful for Ice navigation when trying to traverse sea ice!

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