Pangnirtung, an Inuit-settlement in Baffin Island. The Iniut live off of fishing and seal hunting. From here, we embark into the wilderness of Baffin Island.

»A long way to go«. In Pangnirtung, we have a last cokeand a last burger, then we are off into the wild.

On the second day during our 50 km approach through theWeasel Valley, Mount Thor, a big wall of 1500 meters comes into view.

We can see the trail weaving through the impressive wild valley.The way from Pangnirtung up the Weasel Valley to the Summit Lake andacross the Owl Valley to Qikiqtarjuaq is one of the most popular but also serious trekking routes in the Auyuittuq National Park.

The trail often disappears in the cold glacier streams.We have to bravely cross them time after time.

Mario Walder, the perpetually psyched East Tyrolean,is still optimistic and in a good mood after 40 km of hiking.

At Summit Lake, the narrow and steep Weasel Valley sudddenly broadens.

We leave the trekking path at the end of Summit Lake and follow theTurner Glacier to the bizzare walls of the Mount Asgard massif.

Right next to the Turner Glacier, we find a perfect spotfor our base camp, with Mount Asgard in sight.

Mount Asgard, 2011 meters. The home of the Gods!Mystical and beautiful at the same time. Unique!

The density of big walls in this region is almost unparalleled.The steep faces of Frigga on the left, the two summits of Mount Asgard on the right.

Our Home from July 13 to August 5. The address: Kanada, Nunavut, Baffin Island, right border of the Turner Glacier. We have enoughtime to climb: In July, there is 24 hour daylight, and in August, it dawns shortly around midnight

Alexander, Thomas and Mario build a tall Inukshuk in base camp. It points atat the summit of the South Tower and is a symbolical signpost to their home.

Wild icy streams flow along the Turner Glacier.We search for a decent spot to cross them.

Perfect golden granite on the main buttress of the Bavarian Direttissima.

Our camp on the large ledge. Above us,the wall steepens and rises for 600 meters.

Our luxury items on the wall: the portaledges.The perfect bed for the vertical world.

The weather in the Artcic is not always perfect. Thomastries to figure out a tricky section in a snow flurry.

Despite the snow fall, Thomas pulls through! It is not easy, but doable!

Alexander on the second pitch. This pitchis both hard and very scary. 

Do not think, climb. In case of a mishap, the ensuing fall is about 20 meters.

Thomas on the first meters of the third pitch.

There are no easy sections. Small crimps and verytechnical climbing dominate on the way to the top.

After a loop to the right, we join theoriginal line after two more pitches.

Alexander climbs one of the many perfect finger cracks on superb granite.

The endeavour requires all sorts of crack climbing techniques

Nine pitches we already freed lie behind us, with difficulties up to 5.13.The big question mark lies ahead: the pitch that Nico Favresse could not free in 2009.

The »Move«: this one move stopped Nico.This will be the key to succes or the reason why we fail as well.

Thomas falls three times on the last move of this pitch. He will notgive up though. He tries again, and this time, he has good fortune...

Above the ledge after the crux pitch,Alexander climbs up an akward face climbing section.

Perfect cracks. Thomas climbing 400 meters above the ground.

The main difficulties lie behind us, and yet,every single pich requires our full attention.

What looks like an enjoyable position is not one: Alexander deals withmiserable conditions. Icy rock behind the arete and extremelyakward climbing without decent protection.

Our boys are always along and very motivated to produce the perfect expedition documentary.Max Reichel and Franz Hinterbrandner

Even though the most difficult sections lie behind us,the finish proves exciting.The weather deteriorates from day to day, and our chances of reachingthe summit climbing free become smaller and smaller.

The cracka are iced up, and the ledges are covered in snow. The summit is near.But in these conditions? It seems like it would be impossible. We have doubts..

Thomas climbs the last pitch while Alexanderis already celebrating: »I knew it. It is possible!«

Thomas climbing the last pitch.  Alexander, Mario, Maxand Franz follow. It is ten o´clock at night.

The big moment: after 600 meters of vertical rock, Mario, Alexanderand Thomas top out on the flat summit plateau the size of a soccer field.

Mount Asgard: Home of the Gods, between Earth and Sky.These are the sacred moments that enrich our lives.

The real summit is the safety in base camp.Between us and base camp lies a long, difficult, and dangerous descent.

Terrible weather! It snows, but we do not mind: We are on safe ground.With heavy packs, we navigate the Turner Glacier on our way back to base camp.

The end of a successful expedition. The haulbags are almost too heavy to carry.We suffer, every step is painful. But at that moment, it does not matter. 



Baffin Island / Canada




Words: Alexander Huber


In July and August 2012, Thomas and I were on Mount Asgard in Baffin Island together with Mario Walder. Our main goal was the first free ascent of the Bavarian Direct (7/A3), which was established as an aid climb by six Bavarian friends in 1996.


On August 9, we stood on top of the South Tower of Mount Asgard, after 28 pitches with difficulties up to 5.13c and more than ten days on the wall.

While attempting to free the route, we stayed on the original line of the Bavarian Direct as much as possible, only using variations when necessary. Three years ago, a Belgian expedition had repeated the route - Nico and Olivier Favresse, Sean Villanueva and Silvia Vidal. They managed to free all but one pitch, naming their line along the Bavarian Direct “Belgarian”. Enough of a reason for us to plan an expedition to Baffin to solve the remaining puzzle on this outstanding climb.


Because of the unsettled and generally snowy weather, we had to abort our original plan to free the route in a push, and regularly returned to Base Camp. After several days and attempts on the 700m wall we achieved a “Team Free Ascent”.

Our line, which follows the Bavarian Direct, with variations along the Belgarian and two Huber-Pitches gets a rating of 5.13c or 8a+. It offers perfect clean rock and very demanding climbing up an incredibly beautiful wall.


Baffin Island


Source: Wikipedia


Baffin Island (Inuktitut: Qikiqtaaluk, French: Île de Baffin, Old Norse: Helluland), in the Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is 507,451 km2(195,928 sq mi) and its population is about 11,000 (2007 estimate). Named after English explorer William Baffin, it is likely that the island was known to Pre-Columbian Norse explorers from Greenland and Iceland and may be the location of Helluland, spoken of in the Icelandic sagas (the Grœnlendinga saga and the Saga of Erik the Red, Eiríks saga rauða).

Baffin Island lies in the path of a generally northerly airflow all year round, so like much of northeastern Canada, it has an extremely cold climate. This brings very long, cold winters and foggy, cloudy summers, which have helped to add to the remoteness of the island.

Spring thaw arrives much later than normal for a position straddling the Arctic Circle; around early June at Iqaluit in the south-east to early/mid July on the north coast where glaciers run right down to sea level. Snow, even heavy snow, occurs at any time of the year, although is least likely in July and early August. Average annual temperatures at Iqaluit are around −9.5 °C (14.9 °F), compared with Reykjavík, around 5 °C (41 °F), which is at a similar latitude.


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Mt. Asgard


Source: Wikipedia


Mount Asgard is a twin peaked mountain with two flat-topped, cylindrical, rock towers, separated by a saddle. It is located in Auyuittuq National Park, on the Cumberland Peninsula of Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.


The peak is named after Asgard, the realm of the gods in Norse mythology. Mount Asgard is perhaps the most famous of the Baffin Mountains. Asgard's slightly higher North Peak was first ascended in 1953. The South Peak was first climbed in 1971.



South Tower, Mt. Asgard, 2015 m
Auyuittuq National Park, Baffin Island, Canada


Free Bavarian Direct

800 meters, 5.13c



1996, free and aid climbing, 5.11-/A3
Christian Schlesener, Mane Reichelt, Luca Guscelli, Bernd Adler, Markus Bruckbauer und Tom Grad


Team Free Ascent

2012, Alexander and Thomas Huber, Mario Walder

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DVD (2009), length: 70 minutes

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