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Polar Big Wall Expedition 2000

26.10.2000 by

On 23/08/2000 the expedition comprised of S. Glowacz, K. Albert, H. Hember and G. Heidorn established 'Odyssey 2000' on the unclimbed Polar Bear Spire on Canada's Baffin Island

  On 23 August a German expedition comprised of Stefan Glowacz, Kurt Albert, Holger Hember and the photographer Gerd Heidorn opened a new route on Baffin Island's granite Polar Bear Spire.

Their 500m long " Odyssey 2000" was the culmination of an epic adventure which the four climbers completed in complete autonomy and 'by fair means'.


The approach
On 10 August the expedition left Cape Christian, situated 10 km from Clyde River, and with over 500 kg of equipment & provisions paddled 200km to the end of Edlington Fjord. Bad weather hampered their progress, but after a week they finally entered a stretch between Edlington Fjord and Sam Fjord. Here they identified a steep unclimbed rock face which they subsequently named Polar Bear Spire

The route
The four hauled their provisions inland and established the 15 pitch Odyssey 2000, grading it German -IX (French 7b/7b+). They used natural pro but placed bolts at the belays and on sections deemed unprotectable. Fixed ropes were used to abseil down to Base Camp and to return to the previous highpoint.

Polar bears
The entire expedition was threatened by the disruptive presence of polar bears. During their outbound trip the climbers were forced to keep 2-hour night shifts and, after the polar bears had eaten 1/3 of their rations, the four raised their Base Camp high onto bear-safe portaledges.

The return
The return to civilisation was anything but easy; bad weather, rapids, dangerously strong sea currents and 2m high waves proved to be a tough match. Glowacz and Heidorn were forced to walk the final two-day stretch, while Albert and Hember managed to kajak back to Clyde River. The route name aptly sums up their Canadian adventure!



Further information: on Stefan Glowacz's website (in German only):
www.glowacz.de



Slide show at Arco di Trento

On Tuesday 31/10/2000 at 9.00 Stefan Glowacz will show slides of his expedition to the Antarctic, his ascent of Hotel Supramonte in Sardinia and his recent expedition to Baffin Island.


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