Walder Mario (Zamberlan ambassador)
Planned goals: summit of "Tupliak" (2264m) and then on to "Ritterknecht" (2020m)
...We decide our goals looking at information of expeditions done 16 years ago lookin at a report with this title: "17.7.2000 ski tour to the highest peak Kulusuks"...
Begin of July we reach, after a two-hour flight from Iceland, the small airport on Kulusuk island. This is the gateway to East Greenland. Different from our friends, who arrived in late July 16 years ago, there is no chance for any kind of Skitouring. At +20°C there is no chance for snow. But the weather is awesome!
An Inuit brings us with his boat to the last location, called Sermiligaaq.
Well equipped with ski-touring-skis and Pulka (snowsled), we planned to carry our material from the Karale-Glacier to the Deep-Freeze-Pass, then further to the Sept-16-Glacier and finally to the rise of the Tupilak. But the glaciers are totally bare and this view is surreal. No snow...and the skis are the most useless equipment of the expedition. They will not be used until the end of the trip.
After 2 days of pulling the snowsled on the totally bared ice and a real tough donkeywork, our Pulkas are already broken... and we have done only just 1/3 of our tour! Tired and a little bit frustrated, we decide to set-up a camp directly at the base of the “Ritterknecht”. The following two days, we explored the possibilities and immediately was clear that a progress on the too bare glaciers was impossible. No way…
New plan... new luck... Alexander was in this area also last winter. From the opposite summit, he looks to the mighty, unclimbed East-Pillar of the “Ritterknecht”. For the approach of this pillar there is only one sensible way, which is hidden and not well visible from below. Based on the Winter-Photographies, we explore and found the corridor and a few days later, we started at 04:30am to set-off. Around 900m up and then again 250m down to the entry. It´s getting steep and the rock looks really good! The climb of the first eight pitches is just awesome and reaches the lower difficulty-level of eight grade. Then short, rope-free crest-climbing until the next rise, another two pitches in steep granite and we reach the top of the pillar.
After a long day we melt water and refill energy: bacon, cheese and bars. Without stamina, no pushing! Well strengthened, we proceed with the last steep peak-towers. “Escape onwards” is the motto, since a bivouac is not planned! Whyever? In the Arctic-Summer it´s not getting dark and so we “pull through” until we reach the base camp. A few pitches on a brilliant ridge with wild towers bring us to the summit. At 20:00pm, we reach delighted the highest point. An incredible atmosphere in the evening-sun is the perfect reward for the effort.
But the descent on the very long north-ridge is still there ahead. After an everlasting downclimb we reach the glacier. Another hour hike down to the Base Camp. Exactly 24 hours have passed and a mighty ascent is over. All are healthy and happy, now we return back home.
RITTERKNECHT 2020m / Route name: "CARPE DIEM" (1000 Hm / 8- / ED)