Hansjörg Auer & the Pou Brothers Set Off To Free-Climb The Unknown Walls Of Baffin Island
The North Face® and Red Bull announce the departure of a team of climbers led by Austrian Hansjörg Auer and Spain’s Pou Brothers to open big wall routes in a previously unexplored valley on the east coast of Baffin Island, Canada.
After two months of preparation, athletes Hansjörg Auer (AUT), architect of the expedition, Eneko and Iker Pou (ESP) with their small team of guides and climbing friend Ben Lepesant (LUX) will be dropped off by skidoo to set off on ice to explore virgin territory in the untouched and aptly named ‘Perfection Valley’ – a lateral of the Inugsuin Fjord, 80km south-west of Clyde River, on the east coast of Canada’s largest island, Baffin.
Only ever visited by wandering polar bears and a handful of scientists, the team will journey over ice and rugged terrain to locate a suitable base-camp near the Clyde River on the approach to the wall. Not knowing what they will encounter, the whole expedition will be treated with radio silence until their return in two months time when the ice breaks up in late July. The dangers are a reality with prevailing polar bears; in case of difficulty, the closest rescue helicopter will be more than 600km away, making rescue difficult if not impossible. Temperatures will range from -5°C to +10°C.
Speaking on how Auer came up with the expedition, he explained: ’Last summer, whilst traveling around Baffin I came across a beautiful image on Google Earth showing an amazing wall along with the coordinates – GPS N 69.89417°; W 69.24972° – and decided to set off to find it. The caption read ‘Perfection Valley’. There seems to be some really aesthetic walls in this beautiful valley – which probably did not get its name for nothing. For us, it will be all about the climbing and the story of our adventure unfolding.’
Auer and the Pou’s will be joined by a small team, including a cook and hunter, as well as their friend and climbing partner, Ben Lepesant. The “Perfection Valley” expedition is supported by The North Face® and Red Bull.