Baffin expedition dispatch #4

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Hello Everyone,

Greetings again from Greenland!

It’s raining but we aren’t sleeping in today! The Ice chart we
received yesterday showed a very positive evolution in the ice melting
over on Baffin island so we are very excited. Now it’s time for us to
get ready to cross Baffin bay.
We have just refilled in wine, whisky and condense milk. We have
checked the sails, tightened up the cables of the mast and fixed
everything well on the deck. Basically for a crossing like this and
with a fiberglass boat like we are on, you need to be ready for the
worst to happen!  We ‘ll have to pay a lot of attention to icebergs
and mermaids especially if the thick fog settles in or  if the wind
blows too hard or if both happen at the same time. But we are ready
for it,  at least we think so!

We are now really looking forward to the walls in Baffin island… Our
last climbing experience here has been pretty intense. As usual we
sailed around and picked a wall to climb next. How we choose the walls
we climb is not always very rational. It has definitely some logical
aspects like the steepness of the wall, the acoustics, it’s lines and
rock quality but It’s also a general appealing feeling tending to
fluctuate. Some days you feel more confident and steep things doesn’t
seem so difficult anymore or a wall that looks loose can look fine
too… So it’s all pretty dependent on our mental state how we read

Well we must have been in a pretty high mental state when we chose to
climb this last wall. Already when we reached the base of the wall
things started to look differently and way more intimidating. Me and
Oli chose to aim for a obvious dihedral system while Ben and Sean
chose a line of thin cracks and dihedrals. Right as I left the ground
I understood the whole wall was shattered and impossible to fully
trust any of the holds nor protections. I worked my way up until about
20m where the rock began to crumble then down climbed and tried a
different start… Again I got to about 20m up and got shut down by a
bunch of loose flakes blocking my progress upward. Again I down
climbed… and took a better look at the rock face. Then all of a
sudden it all seemed loose. Oli and I finally opted to go for some
fishing instead of climbing. This wall somehow wasn’t meant to be
climbed by us. Somehow being confronted by your limits and accepting
them is for me one of the most interesting part of exploring new
climbs. But of course it wasn’t without a little knot of uncertainty
that we called our captain to come rescue us.

Meanwhile Ben and Sean manage to take off on their line. Their climb
had very little protections and lots of loose rock, Ben led half of
one pitch and backed off the loose dangling blocks.  From the ground
we could hear him reasoning with Sean to bail,  But Sean was too
excited to bail.  “No way man its too good! ”  They committed to the
wall and spent 24 hours battling through 500 meters of steep
challenging choss.  “For , me, the climb was a metamorphisis” says
Ben.  ” At first I was super stressed about the risk of climbing such
extreme choss, but soon I found a rythm that allowed me to enjoy the
climbing, thanks to Sean leading every pitch.”  Of course Sean had
found his happy place among the maze of loose blocks and circuitous
cracks, though by the end, the continuous difficulty pushed him near
the limit.  We are a little worried because he has now expanded his
capability of taming the inner beast and the physical difficulties
seem trivial.  We aren’t sure when he will again find this Nirvana,
but we hope it isn’t soon…and not with me.  The ascent was
accompanied by a host of whales and dazzling light shows that kept Ben
entertained as he belayed Sean on the 2 hour + leads.   They
compromised on a name and decided on “No place for humans, aka,
sunshine and roses.”

We are glad they are back from their adventures safely, and are super
psyched for the next stage. As the adventures unfold we will keep you



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