Mt.Thor-West Face Redfern Brand Bagley Bepler Summit 1986

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Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 24, 2010 - 02:30pm PT
A classic tale of arctic madness back when very few parties ventured to Baffin Island. This objective has been described as the Tangerine Trip on top of the Salathe Wall! Proud effort but not the first as a party of valiant Gunkies managed to do the Salathe portion with NO BOLTS but had to quit the project. Steve Amter who posts here along with Sawicky and another made that effort while the Japanese team drilled along off to the side! This should be a good thread! From Summit May-June 1986.

The "wall tent" at first hanging bivy. This 4-man double deck, Cordura-covered hanging tent, was made especially for tyhe radical storms of Mount Thor on Baffin Island. Earl Redfern photo.







E Robinson

climber
Salinas, CA
Jul 24, 2010 - 04:44pm PT
I remember getting drunk with Earl in the Mountain Room and listening to him describe coming up to the Japanese team. Earl was a wild character.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Jul 24, 2010 - 07:19pm PT
Here's Mt. Thor in profile from further north up Weasel Valley. Valley bottom is about 250 ft above sea level, summit is 5,495.


Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 25, 2010 - 12:29pm PT
Pretty well defines a "big" wall! LOL

Ghost- What were you after up there?
Thorgon

Big Wall climber
Sedro Woolley, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 12:38pm PT
Stellar effort, on a great Baffin bigwall!


Thor
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2010 - 02:29pm PT
Most impressive. Like Patagonia, Baffin is one of those places that I just want to go see and be in awe. Climbing there? I couldn't imagine. Although, I would if I could.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 4, 2010 - 11:12pm PT
Mighty Thor Bump!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 5, 2010 - 12:54am PT
Ghost- What were you after up there?

Even now, over thirty years later, I'm not sure what I was after on that first trip. What I found, though, is that being a "5.10 climber" at my local crag didn't mean sh#t in the real alpine world.

Did a little better on my second trip up there a couple of years later, but mostly we skied a lot of new country and put up a pretty nice moderate alpine route on one of the most beautiful mountains in the world..
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 7, 2010 - 01:07pm PT
Glaciated landscapes don't get much more dramatic than Baffin! How many folks in your party?
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 7, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
Glaciated landscapes don't get much more dramatic than Baffin! How many folks in your party?

There are other places with dramatic glaciated landscapes. I think there are plenty of climbers here on ST who have visited some spectacular glaciated regions (Himalaya, Andes, Greenland, Queen Maud Land), but yes, the Baffin scenery is pretty good. There were two of us the first time I went, three the second time. I'll try to post a real TR sometime, but I'm looking at 12-hour work days for the next week, so that will have to wait.

In the meantime, here's a shot of the W face of Thor from the South, on the approach up Weasel Valley. It's far from the most attractive objective in the region, but since it's fairly easy to get to, it attracted attention early.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 16, 2010 - 01:23am PT
Steve Amter- Enter and sign in please.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Aug 16, 2010 - 02:16am PT
Ah yes, Earl Redfern. Did a little climbing with him in '86,.......
Caveman

climber
Cumberland Plateau
Aug 16, 2010 - 04:18pm PT
Anyone here familiar with Redfern's attempt at beer sales atop Half Dome? caveman
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Aug 16, 2010 - 04:30pm PT
way to get after it EB. RIP
Llewelyn Moss

Big Wall climber
china beach
Aug 17, 2010 - 02:38pm PT
nice double decker portaledge! i want that...

i have thor as second most traveled wall in baffin (!). asgard is 1st, yes? turret and great cross pillar in 3rd + 4th.

steve: any account of slith the frightful on frigga I?

did the ridge on odin get done recently? the weasel valley is so loaded with potential, man! and its "tapped out"!!! then there's the whole e. coast! yikes.

if i went, and lived, i might not come back!

Llewelyn Moss

Big Wall climber
china beach
Aug 17, 2010 - 09:20pm PT
bump for the mt. odin question.
Bad Climber

climber
Aug 19, 2010 - 09:08am PT
Brings back some memories. I knew Brand and Redfern both. Now, alas, both gone. Since so much time has passed, I guess I can tell this story. Brand confided in me that the push above the fixed lines was not continuous. They were so low on food that a couple of them exited the big ledge, returned to base for supplies, and slogged back up before committing to the head wall. Brand seemed to think this detail diminished their ascent in some way and so didn't publicize it. What a hair ball climb. Kudos to the whole team. I miss Eric Brand. He had a big heart.

BAd
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 22, 2010 - 03:23pm PT
LM-I am no help with your Odin question.
Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
Aug 22, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
I met Tom Bepler down in Patagonia last year at a friend's BBQ- super nice guy, very humble about the sh-t he threw when I was still waddling around in diapers. Bump for hardcore wall antics!
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Aug 22, 2010 - 05:01pm PT
The only ascent of Odin recorded in Mark Synott's recent guidebook is the big gully splitting the south face (not visible in the picture). The summit must have been reached by some other route(s), but who knows? Odin is one of the easiest peaks to get to on the whole island, but it is just so incomprehensibly huge that I imagine a lot of parties have turned back without getting anywhere near the top.

It's hard to grasp the scale when your looking at it from across the valley. The summit is a little over 7,000 ft (2,143 meters), the valley bottom is barely above sea leavel, and other than a few hundred feet of approach scree, it's all granite. The small sub-peak directly above the Arctic Circle cairn in the photo is 4,500 ft, and Odin towers another 2,500 ft above that.

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