Greenland ahoy for Favresse, Villanueva and Ditto
Climbers Nico and Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva and Ben Ditto are preparing for three month climbing trip to Greenland to explore huge virgin big walls.
Belgians Nicolas Favresse, Olivier Favresse and Sean Villanueva and the American Ben Ditto are about to embark on a three month climbing trip to Greenland where they hope, obvioulsy, to forge a new line up a remote unclimbed peak. The team, which successfully climbed the South African route on the Torres del Paine in Patagonia before travelling north to Baffin Island to climb the Belgarian, will reach the climbs by sailing boat and then return back to Europe by sailing across the entire Atlantic. The entire trip should last aound 3 months but this, as Nico states, depends on where the winds take them. All the right ingredients for another adventure are in place, as can be gleamed from Nico's report below.
Greenland 2010 by Nico Favresse
This is it! We are super psyched to be going to Greenland in a few days. No long walk-in approaches this time - on our last expedition to Baffin Island we walked almost 600km in total - as we're now going to be approaching some remote virgin big walls located on the west coast of Greenland by sailboat - basically straight across from Baffin Island.
The spirit of adventure and our desire to embark on an expedition which has a smaller ecological impact and is increasingly by fair means led us to the idea of combining a climbing expedition with a sailing boat for transportation. With a bit of research, Greenland seemed the perfect destination for this adventure.
After a few e-mails we were quickly introduced to Bob Shepton, a retired 65 years old priest. Bob has sailed all over the world (11 Atlantic crossings!) and has accompanied many climbing expeditions on his sailboat to explore the virgin areas in the Arctic. He knows the west coast of Greenland and all its Fjords like the back of his hand and has been awarded trophies for his exploration including the Tilman medal.
Due to last season's stormy weather Bob's boat had to be left in Greenland and this year he was looking for people to bring his boat back to Europe. As soon as we contacted him he sent us some pictures of world-class virgin big walls that rise straight up out the ocean and he offered to take us there. Even though we originally had other plans for this summer, his offer was way too good to refuse and a unique opportunity we simply couldnt resist.
According to our sources there should be a huge amount of unclimbed walls in this area. The sailing boat will be our base camp/music studio and means of travel and exploration. Our adventure will not only include the climbing but also the sailing since we will have to sail through the icebergs and then all the way back across the Atlantic to Europe after the climb.
Due to the limited size of Dodo Delight (a 10m Westerley sailing boat) and the large amount of musical instruments, only a team of four will be able to join Bob on his boat. As usual Sean Villanueva and my brother Olivier will be part of the expedition and we will be joined by Ben Ditto, a very talented climber and pro photographer. Ben climbed with us in Patagonia last year when we carried out the first free ascent of the South African route in Torres del Paine.
The duration of the expedition will be of approximately 3 months depending on where the winds will take us. Stay tuned on www.xpedition.be for the music and climbing progress this expedition
We would like to thank all our sponsors who helped make this adventure possible: The Belgian alpine club, Patagonia, Five Ten, Black Diamond, Seeonee, Sterling ropes, Belclimb.be, Petzl, Yetiworld, Careplus, Milo and Julbo.