Ulvetanna ascended

Ulvetanna ascended

Reaching the top of the spectacular mountains in Queen Maud Land in Antarctica took the team, consisting of Espen Fadnes, Kjersti Eide, Jonas Langseth, Ingeborg Jakobsen, Aleksander Gamme and British Andy Kirkpatrick, 12 intensive days of climbing. The ascent went quickly along fixed ropes, placed two days in advance. Andy Kirkpatrick received the honor of leading the symbolic last length of rope up to the vertex. Kirkpatrick was in front on most pitches and was the man who made this project possible. At 2:30 they all stood on top of Ulvetanna and could enjoy the view of the first sunrise in perfect conditions: Cold, but clear and windless.

The victory team.

The day before the planned climb, a storm warning came in from two different meteorological sources. The Russian station Novo urged the team to come down from the mountains and prepare the camp for a storm. The team had a deadline of 30 hours to ascend the peak and then descend from the mountain. They had no choice but to start immediately at 21:00 on February 2.

The summit is only the halfway point on a climb and there were great nerves attached to the long descent. The ropes had to be placed again in order to descend the 400-meter wall from camp 2. In addition, the camp had to be packed and the 250 kg of equipment lowered down the wall. After nearly 24 hours of intense work, Andy, as the last man, set foot on solid ground. Then, an hour long ski with a sledge back to the main camp awaited. Once back in basecamp, several of the team members had been up and on the move for 40 consecutive hours.

Intensive climbing.


The lower part, the 400 vertical meters up to the second camp, has been climbed several times. After this follows a challenging ridge of 4-5 pitches before a new 150-meter vertical wall. The route then continues with varied climbing. The entire team was involved in the hoisting, securing and cleaning of the route.

The original plan was for two of the expedition members,– Espen Fadnes and Kjersti Eide – to base-jump off the mountain. Ulvetanna Peak is close to the world's largest vertical drop for base-jumping with its 1,700 meters from the top to the east side glacier. Due to the storm warning and time pressure, the base equipment was left behind in camp 2 and all resources were utilized to get the team down safely, as fast as possible.

The climb was the last part of a fifty-day expedition project where the team had skied, flown speed riders, climbed a new route on Holstind, base jumped in the Holtedahl Mountains and completed the first successful ascent of the South Ridge of Ulvetanna.