Watkins Range

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Watkins Range
Watkins Bjerge

Watkinsmountains.jpg

Watkins Range
Highest point
Peak Gunnbjørn Fjeld
Elevation 3,649 m (11,972 ft)
Geography
Greenland edcp relief location map.jpg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Location
Country Greenland
Municipality Sermersooq
Range coordinates 68°45′N29°38′W / 68.750°N 29.633°W / 68.750; -29.633 Coordinates: 68°45′N29°38′W / 68.750°N 29.633°W / 68.750; -29.633

The Watkins Range (Danish : Watkins Bjerge) [1] is Greenland's highest mountain range. It is located in King Christian IX Land, Sermersooq municipality.

Danish language North Germanic language spoken in Denmark

Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in Denmark and in the region of Southern Schleswig in northern Germany, where it has minority language status. Also, minor Danish-speaking communities are found in Norway, Sweden, Spain, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina. Due to immigration and language shift in urban areas, around 15–20% of the population of Greenland speak Danish as their first language.

Greenland Autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark

Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium. The majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century, gradually settling across the island.

King Christian IX Land Region in Greenland

King Christian IX Land is a coastal area of Southeastern Greenland in Sermersooq Municipality fronting the Denmark Strait and extending through the Arctic Circle from 65°N to 70°N.

Contents

The range was named after British Arctic explorer Gino Watkins.

Gino Watkins British Arctic explorer

Henry George "Gino" Watkins FRGS was a British Arctic explorer and nephew of Bolton Eyres-Monsell, 1st Viscount Monsell.

History

Made up entirely of nunataks, [2] this remote range was formerly an unknown area. In 1912 Swiss geophysicist and Arctic explorer Alfred De Quervain crossed the Greenland ice cap from Godhavn (Qeqertarsuaq) on the west, to Sermilik Fjord on the eastern side and saw a range system that he named 'Schweizerland', marking the position and approximate height of Mont Forel, the highest point of that area [3] Lacking accurate data, Mont Forel was then thought to be the highest mountain in the Arctic Circle area, together with Petermann Peak far to the north. [4]

Nunatak Exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier

A nunatak is an exposed, often rocky element of a ridge, mountain, or peak not covered with ice or snow within an ice field or glacier. They are also called glacial islands. Examples are natural pyramidal peaks. When rounded by glacial action, smaller rock promontories may be referred to as rognons.

Sermilik

Sermilik is a fjord in eastern Greenland. It is part of the Sermersooq municipality.

Schweizerland

Schweizerland, also known as Schweizerland Alps, is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality. Its highest point is one of the highest peaks in Greenland.

However, in 1930 Gino Watkins, leader of the British Arctic Air Route Expedition, discovered a new mountain range from the air located over 350 km to the northeast of Schweizerland [5] that he named 'New Mountains'. [6] This was the higher Watkins Range with the Gunnbjørnsfjeld, the actual highest summit in Greenland. [7]

British Arctic Air Route Expedition

The British Arctic Air Route Expedition (BAARE) was a privately funded expedition to the east coast and interior of the island of Greenland. The expedition, led by Gino Watkins, aimed to draw improved maps and charts of poorly surveyed sections of Greenland's coastline, and to gather climate data from the coast and interior icecap during the north polar winter. The expedition explored East Greenland in 1930-1931.

In 1935 Lawrence Wager, who had been earlier with Watkins' 1930 expedition returned to East Greenland and opened a new route inland. During his venture he made the first ascent of the range's highest point, Gunnbjorns Fjeld. He was also able to sight as well the Lemon Range, a hitherto unknown range located to the north-east of Kangerlugssuaq Fjord. [4]

Lawrence Rickard Wager, commonly known as Bill Wager, was a British geologist, explorer and mountaineer, described as "one of the finest geological thinkers of his generation" and best remembered for his work on the Skaergaard intrusion in Greenland, and for his attempt on Mount Everest in 1933.

Lemon Range

The Lemon Range or Lemon Mountains is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

Kangerlussuaq Fjord, East Greenland Fjord Greenland, Sermersooq

Kangerlussuaq Fjord is a fjord in eastern Greenland. It is part of the Sermersooq municipality.

Geography

The Watkins Range is located in King Christian IX Land about 60 km inland from the Blosseville Coast. It is a system of nunataks surrounded by large active glaciers. The main glaciers are the large Christian IV Glacier to the west, the Rosenborg Glacier to the south and the Kronborg Glacier to the east. [1] The range has massive ice-covered peaks and exposed cliffs. The primary summit of the range is Gunnbjørn Fjeld 3,694 m (12,119 ft), also the highest peak in the Arctic.

Blosseville Coast Coastal region in Sermersooq, Greenland

The Blosseville Coast is a long stretch of coast in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively it belongs to the Sermersooq Municipality.

Christian IV Glacier

Christian IV Glacier is a large glacier on the east coast of the Greenland ice sheet. It is named after King Christian IV of Denmark. Administratively this glacier is part of the Sermersooq Municipality. The area surrounding Christian IV Glacier is uninhabited.

Gunnbjørn Fjeld mountain

Gunnbjørn Fjeld is Greenland's highest mountain and also the highest mountain north of the Arctic circle.

The Lindbergh Range rises to the west, beyond the Christian IV Glacier. Other high nunataks are located nearby, some being part of the greater Watkins Range system, such as the Skaermen (Skærmen) to the west, [8] the Ejnar Mikkelsen Range [9] and the Borgtinderne to the east, [10] and the Lilloise Range to the southeast. [11] The Gronau Nunataks are located to the north at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, separated from the Watkins Range by the Christian IV Glacier. [12]

'Rasmussens Range' (Knud Rasmussens Bjerge), from Knud Rasmussen Land mountains, is the name used in some sources to refer to the northern section of the range located between the 69th parallel north and the Gronau Nunataks. [13] However, there is a mountain range located in West Greenland that is known by the name Knud Rasmussens Bjerge . [14]

Mountains

The Watkins Range has a number of mountains higher than 3,000 m (9,800 ft), some of which are unnamed. [15] Among these the following deserve mention:

Climbing

The Watkins Range has excellent snow as well as ice routes for experienced climbers. Good climbing conditions are present for the most part in July and August. [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of Greenland

Greenland is located between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada and northwest of Iceland. The territory comprises the island of Greenland—the largest island in the world—and more than a hundred other smaller islands. As an island, Greenland has no land boundaries and 44,087 km of coastline. A sparse population is confined to small settlements along certain sectors of the coast. Greenland possesses the world's second largest ice sheet.

Andrée Land (Greenland) peninsula in Greenland

Andrée Land is a peninsula in King Christian X Land, East Greenland that is bounded by Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, Isfjord and Geologfjord.

Mont Forel mountain

Mont Forel is a mountain in King Christian IX Land, Sermersooq Municipality, Greenland. It is part of the Schweizerland range, also known as 'Schweizerland Alps'.

Stauning Alps Mountain range in Greenland

The Stauning Alps are a large system of mountain ranges in Scoresby Land, King Christian X Land, northeastern Greenland. Administratively the Stauning Alps are part of the Northeast Greenland National Park zone.

Petermann Peak mountain in Northeast Greenland National Park Greenland

Petermann Peak,, also known as Petermann Fjeld, Petermanns Topp and Petermann Point is a mountain in King Christian X Land, Northeast Greenland. Administratively it is part of the Northeast Greenland National Park zone.

Gaule Bjerg mountain in Sermersooq Greenland

Gaule Bjerg is a mountain in King Christian IX Land, Sermersooq Municipality, Greenland.

Crown Prince Frederick Range

The Crown Prince Frederick Range is a large mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

Borgtinderne

Borgtinderne, meaning 'Castle Pinnacles' in the Danish language, is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

Gronau Nunataks

The Gronau Nunataks is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

Ejnar Mikkelsen Range

Ejnar Mikkelsen Range is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively it is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

Knud Rasmussen Range

The Knud Rasmussen Range, also known as Usugdluk, is a mountain range in West Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Qaasuitsup municipality.

Lindbergh Range

The Lindbergh Range or Lindbergh Nunataks is a mountain range in King Christian IX Land, eastern Greenland. Administratively this range is part of the Sermersooq Municipality.

References

  1. 1 2 "Watkins Bjerge". Mapcarta. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. GEUS Map - Northern East Greenland; Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland Bulletin 21 Map 4 - 1:1 000 000
  3. Alfred de Quervain's Swiss Greenland expeditions, 1909 and 1912 in Polar Record, Cambridge Journals by William Barr
  4. 1 2 The Development of Mountaineering in East and North-East Greenland, An Outline History
  5. The Swiss Expedition to Greenland 1938. André Roch
  6. "Catalogue of place names in northern East Greenland". Geological Survey of Denmark. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  7. Encyclopedia Arctica 14: Greenland
  8. "Skærmen". Mapcarta. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  9. "Ejnar Mikkelsen Fjeld". Mapcarta. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  10. "Borgtinderne". Mapcarta. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  11. "Lilloise Bjerge". Mapcarta. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  12. "Gronau Nunatakker". Mapcarta. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  13. Arctic Summits - Summit Climbs
  14. Geonames - Knud Rasmussen Bjerge
  15. "Watkins Mountains". Petter Bjørstad. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  16. 1 2 Google Earth
  17. 1 2 3 "G4 Expedition, Watkins Mountains". Greenland Mountains. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  18. AAJ - North America, Greenland, Swiss East Greenland Expedition
  19. Mountain Info. Greenland 2006 Climb Magazine. January 2008 issue, p. 70