The team

The core of the Troll Finger Expedition Team is Dave, Jason and Jack – three New Zealand climbers looking for adventure.  However, like a lot of good things, it isn’t quite that simple.  The wider Troll Finger Team is a vast network of friends and family from New Zealand, Denmark, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and a few other places in between.  Tom and Lis (New Zealand) Absalon, Volamar, Bjartur and Andreas (Faroe Islands/Denmark) are all critical people for the success of the expedition.

Jack Grinsted

Explorer/Environmental Scientist (Expedition leader)

Jack on Mt Tasman

Facilitating adventure and the promoting the love of wild places is what Jack enjoys the most. Nothing makes him more excited than climbing a new route, on an awesome feature, in a wild place most people have never heard of.   Working together with the Faroese climbing community to encourage the sport of rock climbing in the North Atlantic is the icing on the cake (or the nail polish on the finger).

Recent ascents:

  • Mt Speight (new mixed route on SE Face)
  • Paparoa Traverse over Mt Uriah (Wilderness Magazine front page and feature article September 2014)
  • Bullock Creek/Punikaiki River – multiple first ascents (The Climber, Number 82, Author Jason Blair)
  • West Face of Te Wera, new route 2016.
  • Ski traverse from Godley to Chancellor hut, then over to Mt Cook Village, including ascents of Minarets, De La Beche, Lendenfeld and Tasman en route.
  • Huayna Potosi 6088m, Cerro Tilata 5336,  Maria Loco (First Ascent on South Face) 5200m and Hati Kollhu 5430m all in Bolivia.

Dave Mckinney

Dave in AvimoreRock climber /reindeer farmer (big wall specialist)
Dave knows how to climb big rock faces. And he is good at it.  He is also a farmer and currently looks after a fine herd of reindeer in Avimore Scotland.  However, the herd are giving him a bit of time off to come and put his big wall skills to use on the Troll Finger.

Mountaineering in NZ :

  • Mt Macpherson, Darrans.
  • Mt Sabre – North Buttress, Darrans.
  • Barrier Knob – Endless Summer, Darrans.
  • Mt Talbot – East Ridge, Darrans.
  • Mt Earnslaw, Queenstown Lakes.

Mountaineering in Switzerland:

  • Jungfrau – Rotbrett Ridge, D (4158m)
  • Mönch – SE ridge, PD (4107m)
  • Piz Roseg – Northface, D (3937m)
  • Piz Bernina – Bianco Ridge, AD (4049m)
  • Piz Palü – East Pillar, D (3905m)
  • Piz Badile – Cassin Route, TD (3308m)
  • Alphubel – Ski descent (4206m)
  • Äbeni Flue – Ski descent (3962m)
  • Trugberg – Ski descent (3933m)
  • Grosses Wannenhorn – Ski descent (3906m)
  • Hugisattel – Ski descent (4088m)
  • Piz Palü – Ski descent (3905m)

Mountaineering in North America:

  • Bugaboo Spire – Kain Route, Bugaboos.
  • Pigeon Spire – Bugaboos.
  • South Houser Tower – BC route, Bugaboos.
  • The Chief – The Grand Wall, Squamish.
  • El Capitan – The Nose, Yosemite Valley.

Jason Blair

Crux climber/Professional photographer (Climbing photographer & team media guy)

Jason at Mt SomersJason is an award-winning professional photographer, and a Master of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography. In addition, he is an accomplished rock climber and outdoor enthusiast in many realms. His photography; landscape, commercial, and adventure often takes him to remote locations and challenging conditions. Overcoming these challenges through modern equipment, innovative techniques, and creative approaches has given Jason a unique set of skills and knowledge which will be of great benefit in documenting this expedition. For example, Jason is a pioneer of drone use for aerial photography and was recently commissioned by Greenpeace to produce footage on Mt Ruapehu for a “Save the Arctic” film. He has had recent photojournalism articles published in the Wilderness, Climber and NZ Mountain Bike Magazines.

Jason’s excellent technical climbing ability is a considerable contribution to the overall safety and likely hood of success of the Troll Finger Expedition team.  Get in touch with Jase

Lis Ridley

Wilderness expert/music connoisseur  (On the ground communications/support)
Lis brings a wealth of experience coordinating teams of forest research staff working at helicopter accessible sites in remote corners of the New Zealand mountains. She will help with communications while the team is out climbing on the Troll Finger.  She is also looking forward to investigating the music festival opportunities on the Faroe Islands.

Tom Grinsted

Adventurer/Photographer/Web Designer/Father (Team web design and expedition adviser)

The critical New Zealand – Faroe Island link. Tom became good friends with Absalon while living in Copenhagen 2013-2014. When Absalon came to visit Tom in New Zealand a plan was hatched over New Year celebrations and the Troll Finger Expedition was born.  Initially, scheduled to join the team for the expedition, Tom became a Dad in 2016 and will continue to support the team from New Zealand.

Tom made a reconnaissance trip to the Faroe Islands in September 2014 to view the Troll Finger, establish local contacts and logistics, as well as assisting a local climber to establish new sport climbing routes. Tom has already made an impact on the Faroe Island rock climbing scene by volunteering to build a website to promote the sport in the Faroe Islands.

Absalon Esturoy

Pioneer Rock Climber, Pediatrician, Father (Faroese Team Leader)
Absalon has made many first ascents on the Faroe Islands including the first ever recorded ascent of the Troll Finger.  He is a crucial man in the for Troll Finger Expedition helping with logistics, organisation, guidance and local knowledge.  Absalon is preparing a strong team of climbers (including Volamar, Bjartur and Andreas) to join the New Zealand Trollfinger Expedition team in an attempt on the 313m face of the Trøllkonufingur.

No I in team….

Some things are just easier in a team ….  like putting up a portaledge:

No I in team