Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Norway Part 2

          After a week of fun, conditions got pretty dank for ice climbing so we visited some local villages and did some ski touring.

Norwegian Coastal culture has a flair all it's own.  The names and locations of the communities are right out of a Tolkien fable.

Secretly we all wished for one of these Sparks

      The skiing conditions varied from boilerplate to breakable and occasional stretches of cornshussing.   On the upside, the vistas were not bad and treeline is reached after about fifteen minutes of skinning.

Segla - The Sail - a BASE jumper's wet dream

Eventually, we got back to the business at hand..
  "Fantasia" in the center and "Crazy Maze" at right. We took the left line.

          Jesse and I tried our luck on the "Scotish wall" of Breidtinden, Senja's highest peak - a real Napolean at just 1000m in elevation.  Ines Papert and Thomas Senf had opened "Crazy Maze" and Sjur Nesheim and partner had put up "Fantasia" using a 150m rope.  Sjur explained this tactic was crucial because there is a general lack of protection and belays are hard to find at regular intervals.

        We settled on a route at the left side and blasted up amazing nevé and mixed climbing for seven pitches (two of those involved extensive simul climbing for reasons noted above) totalling 450m. 
The difficulties were not too severe M6+ AI 4+ but the thin, runnout ice and rock overlaps were consistently spicy.
Jesse about to insert the first of two pieces he found on this 60m pitch

A tight belay for the first of several changing corners P.6
The Ice Princess M6+ AI 4+ R on Breidtinden
Obligatory summit ridge fist pump.

       We descended off the back to avoid a regrettable amount of abseiling and hiked over two passes to regain the approach slopes and the car just about 13 hours after leaving it.

      This trip was a life highlight for me and we only really just caught a glimpse of a small corner of this incredible country.  Thanks to an all time crew for making this come together and keeping morale high.

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