Croatian Greenland Climbing Expedtion of 1971

(Hrvatska alpinistička ekspedicija Grenland 1971)

On the July 18th, 1971., at approximately 11 AM, Nenad Čulić and Marijan Čepelak, two members of the 'Croatian Greenland Climbing Expedtion of 1971' became the first climbers to reach the summit of Ingolf (Mt. Ingolf, Ingolfsfjaeld), one of the most prominent peaks and to that time the most challenging climb yet to be completed on the East, less accessible coast of Greenland.

These web pages have been initially prepared on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the climb, and have been translated into English ten years later.

The original expedition report, as printed in 1972, with summaries in German and English, can be viewed (as a 5 MB .pdf document) [here]


First ascent of Ingolf followed for the most part its Nort-East ridge, (on the right of the summit on the photograph above). The original climbers thus proposed for it the name "Croatian Ridge".


Kangertittivatsiaq is one of the largest fjords on the East coast of Greenland. It was the area where, during several weeks in the summer of 1971, the Croatian climbing expedition summitted not only Ingolf as it's main objective, but also several other, previously un-climbed mountains.

Jerko i Ingolsfjeld

Jerko Kirigin, expedition leader with Ingolf in the background

HAEG-71 was the first ever Croatian climbing expedition to a previously un-scaled peak in one of the remote mountain ranges of the World. The mountain it chose to climb was a known challenge and was attempted before by climbing expeditions originating from mountaineering centres where the conditions for financing and organizing similar endeavours were much better than they were in Croatia of the time of this expedition. Meticulous organization, frugal execution and an exceptionally high level of common purpose - but also no small measure of providence with the navigational conditions in ice-infested waters and a near-perfect climbing weather ensured its success where it escaped several previous attempts.

Sudionici HAEG-71

Expedition memebrs, in Camp I, with Ingolf in the background

Hrvoje Lukatela, Branko Šeparović, Jerko Kirigin, Nenad Čulić, Vladimir Mesarić, Marijan Čepelak i Dolfi Rotovnik.

Finally, an "expedition picture-book" with twenty-odd photographs, will attempt to take you to the East Coast of Greenland and Ingolf, as recorded over half a century ago by the cameras of the HAEG'71 expedition members.


Authors of all photographs on these web-pages are the members of HAEG-71. Scanning, processing, text and web-page programming by: [H.L.], 2011, 2021. All material presented is published according to the Creative Commons [BY-NC-ND 4.0] license.

A more extensive presentation (in Croatian) of HAEG'71, as well as a number of other items related to the PDS Velebit (University of Zagreb Mountaineering Club) can be found [here].