GREENLAND 2002 - DISPATCH 5 Summer Solstice with Old Friends and New

Greetings from NHN. Yesterday, we celebrated the summer solstice on the midnight top of a rocky peak in the form of a great cresting wave. The summit block actually overhung its northwest face. We scrambled along a lengthy ridge and collected three independent summits. The weather could not have been better as the sun hung low over the ice cap. As we constructed a cairn on the final summit, we wondered how long it would be before the next humans would come to visit the NHN. That was last night.

Tonight, it is now 3:00 a.m. and James and I have just returned from a 10 km ski and climb of a pyramid mountain. We are taking advantage of outrageous weather. The rest of the group opted to take the day/night off and prepare for another group climb tonight.

Out on that remote summit tonight, there was time for contemplation. As a climber, I am in debt to those who taught me so much, some of them are no longer here such as Alex Lowe and Rob Hall. I thought of them as I climbed with James who is just beginning to fall prey to this sport. The things friends taught me, I now pass on.

Back in Iceland I met some Americans kayakers from Montana, and somehow Alex's name came up. One of them dug into his pocket, and produced a card from his wallet. It was an announcement of a memorial service for Alex Lowe.

"Alex was the best", he said, "can't forget that", he said.

Good Night from NHN.


GREENLAND 2002 - Niels Holgersen Nunatakker Introduction