Fay Manners and Michelle Dvorak Bag Two New Big-Wall Routes in Greenland

Fay Manners and Michelle Dvorak have left two new routes on East Greenland: one on their own and another with German climber Martin Feistl.

The two women intended to climb on their own but decided to join forces with Feistl and his climbing partner Felix Bub when they met at Mythics Cirque.

After a failed attempt on Siren Tower, they spotted an alternative line on the impressive Father Tower. They went for it in one push instead of big wall style (hauling gear up the face). A shoulder injury kept Bub out of that particular climb.

“We didn’t want impossibly heavy haul bags because on the upper section slabs, it looked as though hauling would be difficult,” Manners wrote.

Some surprises

Like most first ascents, the route involved some surprises. The biggest were “the so-called hand cracks…actually a set of unbelievable off-width climbing,” she added.

However, in Manners’ opinion, the crux was the 65m, 7b+ section that Feistl opened. “And then after that, [he led] another very serious pitch which involved a terrifying hollow flake!”

Dvorak wrote: “After a very long day I may have started crying at a belay I’d built when my ropes got tangled yet again, inspiring the ‘Mental Breakdown’ name for the route. Each of us took it turns experiencing the feeling over the two days it took to climb it and descend on foot.”

a topo signaling two routes up an impressive granite spire. The green line is a previous route opened by Philippe Batoux.

‘Mental Breakdown’ is the red and yellow line. The green line is a previous route opened by Philippe Batoux. Route line: Martin Feistl. Photo: Fay Manners


“The long walk down the crumbly ridge on the second day with heavy rucksacks was the most mentally drained I have felt in a while,” Manners admitted. “Seven hours of easy yet extremely serious and consequential terrain.” They graded the route 580/765m, 7b+, R.

Second climb

After the men left, Manners and Dvorak borrowed packrafts from an all-female Spanish team and paddled out to a nearby spot by Kangertittivatsiaq Fiord. There, they bagged a second, shorter route on Chastity Tower. it was that tower’s second ascent, after a climb by Sean Villanueva O’Driscoll and Nico Fabresse last year. Manners described that route as:

A classic line of cracks with 370m of climbing on the west face of Chastity Tower.

The route starts up a slab and wanders into a series of chimneys and wide cracks. Later, the crux is where the rock steepens, and as the protection becomes sparse, some moves on crumbly rock across a diagonal traverse are required.

Some enjoyable 5c-6a climbing take you to the summit. There are six abseils that…take you directly down the north face.


Check the route map and details of the “Princess Brides” route on Chastity Tower on Manners’ Instagram:

Note: Sean Villanueva and Nico Favresse were also in Greenland this summer. They attempted a new big wall climb on the Mirror Wall with Franco Cookson and Ben Ditto. It was, they said, “the most ambitious line we have ever attempted.”

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.