A highly appropriate name for such a monster of a climb, Mount Thor is known as the world's highest and steepest cliff. This cliff is part of a range belonging to Mount Asgard, another appropriately-named formation. The land itself is untamed, rugged, and harrowing, as it's only a short distance across the water from Greenland. Both of these are part of Auyuittuq National Park in Canada, translated from Inuit to mean "the land that never melts", and that couldn't be more true.
Baffin Island is remote and still a mystery to much of the world, as not many people volunteer to explore this frozen land. Between its fjords and mountain ranges, Mount Thor sits in full view of the climbers who make it their lifelong goal to seek the top. And for those who do, the reward is breathtaking.
Talk About A Drop
What makes Mount Thor so intense is its vertical drop - the sheer face of this cliff extends 4,101 feet, making it quite an intimidating climb. The overhang of this rock sits at a 105-degree angle, which gives the illusion that the slope isn't as steep as it is.
To prove this point, one need only look at the history of this cliff's attempted summits. While many had tried, a four-man team finally completed the rocky (literally) journey to the top in 1985 after a challenging 33 days. The team faced rockfalls and the risk of low supplies, as the anticipated climb was nothing close to what they had expected or prepared for. The American team was successful in their attempt, however, becoming the first to reach the ledge of this massive rock face.
While reaching the top of this cliff is a challenge in itself, many choose to take the experience one step further -base jumping. Unfortunately for them, Auyuittuq National Park has a strict rule against base jumping, and people breaking that law have been prosecuted for it in the past. Not only is it incredibly dangerous to jump at such a height, but the area is so remote and isolated that getting an emergency crew to the area is a feat within itself.
In total, Mount Thor extends almost 5,000 feet straight up, which doesn't make it the highest cliff in the world but does give it the title of having the steepest vertical face. This is clearly evident in every climber picture from the ascent, as climbers have few foot holds and even fewer notches to pull themselves up.
Furthermore, the rock face of Mount Thor is granite, making for a hard, slightly smooth surface, which adds another level of challenges to this climb. For those who aren't about the vertical climb, it's not uncommon to see campers spending the night not far from this cliff - and if they're lucky, they'll have the chance to witness yet another person ascending this steep feat. In addition to camping, nature lovers visit Nunavut, Canada, for a multitude of outdoor activities - including paragliding and parachuting, as well as hiking, since the surrounding area is just as breathtaking from the ground as it is from 5,000 feet in the air.