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Anna Smith and Michelle Kadatz Send on Baffin Island

Anna Smith and Michelle Kadatz have returned from a multi-week adventure on Baffin Island.

The Canadian women spent a few weeks exploring the the remote arctic island during July. With stable weather and some warm temperatures, they managed to send two world-class routes.

Anna Smith taking in the sights on Baffin Island.  Photo Michelle Kadatz
Anna Smith taking in the sights on Baffin Island. Photo Michelle Kadatz

On Mount Asgard, they successfully topped out the Scott Route 5.11. The often-climbed east face route is nearly 25 pitches long and was first climbed in 1972 by Paul Braithwaite, Dennis Hennek, Paul Nunn and Doug Scott. It is the closest thing to a trade route Baffin Island has. Read about the first ascent here.

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Michelle Kadatz on some splitter rock on Baffin Island. Photo Anna Smith

On Mount Loki, Smith and Kadatz climbed the South Buttress 5.10, which had its first free ascent in 2012 by Joshua Lavigne, Jon Walsh and Ines Papert. Smith and Kadatz likely made the second free ascent. Walsh wrote the following about their ascent in the 2013 American Alpine Journal, “With great weather, we set out for the nearby south buttress of Mt. Loki, the second most beautiful peak in our vicinity. A continuous crack system led from glacier to summit, and we climbed it in 13 60-metre pitches  (650 metres, 5.10+).

“Old rappel stations were encountered the whole way. We suspect we repeated the only route described in the guidebook, put up by Kiwi climbers some 20 years earlier. It was likely the second ascent and first free ascent, and was very similar in quality and length to the Bugaboos ultra-classic Beckey-Chouinard.”

Anna Smith seconding on the South Ridge of Mount Loki.  Photo Michelle Kadatz
Anna Smith seconding on the South Buttress of Mount Loki. Photo Michelle Kadatz

Smith and Kadatz’s trip was sponsored by the Jen Higgins Memorial Fund through the Alpine Club Of Canada and the Expedition Support Fund through Mountain Equipment Co-op. “Without this extraordinary support,” said Smith, “our dream would have never even gotten off the ground.”

Heading into the sky on Baffin Island.  Photo
Heading into the sky on Baffin Island. Photo Anna Smith