Bob Shepton.

Expeditions 2010

A highly successful expedition owing to the expertise of my team of ‘world class’ climbers. We met up in Aasiaat where I had left the boat for the winter and sailed – literally, as the engine would not start after the first 85 miles – whether the wind blew strongly or not at all, until we finally reached Upernavik.

Silhouette of climber on side of rock above the clouds

The aim was for my climbers to open up the big rock walls near Upernavik which they did with four superb routes on big rock faces. The tour de force was on Impossible Wall at 850 metres, E7 6c or 5.12d,19 sustained pitches of a high standard. In this and two other instances the climbs were started from the boat up against the sheer cliffs.


We hope that this will open up this area of huge potential to climbing at all standards in the future. We then made our way 900 miles south to the Cape Farewell area where my team again put up four quality new routes on rock walls on these Alpine type mountains at this southern tip of Greenland. They even persuaded the skipper to go out with them and add another route, which was a grave mistake – far too long and hard for an old man at E2 and 500 metres! We called in at the Weather Station at the far end of Prinz Christian Sund and were duly treated to Danish pastries before putting out for the Atlantic.

Route of a wall climb on Impossible Wall

This proved quite a tough passage with headwinds and a couple of ‘storms’ for which we hove-to, before we could work south to pick up favourable westerlies, at last.

We stopped briefly in Mingulay and considered climbing but the skipper decided next morning that we had best proceed for fear of the forecast weather. We sped across the Minch with strong following winds and eventually arrived in Oban in a full gale.


This had nothing to do with it being their first Atlantic crossing, but my thirteenth! As well as being awarded the Piolet d’Or 2011, we won the Best Mountain Adventure Film Award at the Kendal Mountain Festival 2011 for the film the team had made of this expedition.

Bob Shepton and two members of the Wild Bunch