Mt. Thor boasts the largest vertical drop in the world and is seldom climbed. Located up in the Artic Circle on Baffin Island in Canada Mt. Thor has few rivals in its level of size and difficulty. We (John Furneaux and myself) got very lucky with the weather and are now able to claim a new route (first ascent) which we are calling “the great escape” which is a v 5.10+ climb and we are also are claiming the first free ascent of this mountain’s SW Face. We had a few tense moments on the mountain as we were very unsure if our route would go but an especially tense moment when a strap broke on John’s pack and sent our Piton free falling 800 meters down the face. Our commitment level rose significantly in that moment as our option to retreat via rappelling down became unlikely and the nearest rescue helicopter is in Jasper the only way down from that point on was up. The three days spent on this mountain will go down in my mind as my greatest big wall achievement. Thank you John, of course I couldn’t have done this without you.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012