Friday, 31 August 2007

Fabulous Fjordland

Isn't it strange how you forget? After several superb summers in Lofoten we decided to break the journey south with a couple of days in Aurland, in the heart of the fjords. We had forgotten what a majestic part of the World this is, the aquamarine fjords pinned between high tops already sprinkled with the first snow of the season.
The area was still quite busy compared to the north, especially considering September is just around the corner, but the steady steam of coaches, camper-wagons and cruise-ships make you realise that we are back in the heart of Tourist Territory!
Highlights were an amazing glass-fronted viewpoint (above) and a short walk to a modest summit (4670') overlooking the old mountain road, the car thermometer read a steady zero degrees!

Monday, 27 August 2007

Homeward Bound

A chill northerly wind and the disappearance of all the tourists, can only mean one thing, the short Arctic summer is coming to a close and it is time to think about heading south and get stuck into the Lofoten guidebook - though one year we would love to stay on and see the winter arrive. It is amazing to think, four short weeks ago it never got dark, and now the autumn is almost upon us.
We had a last tour of a few of our favourite spots, the normally busy Kalle beach was deserted, not a tent or camper-van in sight - and of course its Bank Holiday Monday at home and a sunny one too, with all that entails!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Way Out West

With the forecast a bit unsettled we decided on a day out in western Lofoten yesterday and took the ferry (only one a day - climbing in here would need a bit of planning) for a quick trip round Rienefjord to get photographs for the new guide. There are some amazing peaks in there, the sort of things a child would draw for a picture of 'a mountain'.
The most impressive is probably the charmingly name Brieflogtind (Wide Slab Peak apparently) - it is only 750 metres high (just a little higher than Kinder!) - but what a peak!
We also sailed past the huge shark's fin of Seiltind (730m), of which the current guide simple says "first ascent unknown". That presumably means the soaring faces are unclimbed!
Merraflestind (the third photo) is obviously so insignificant is isn't worth of a mention in the guidebook or a spot height on the map! Despite this it is probably only a 15 minute walk from the pier and has some rather fine lines and currently at least ONE route!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Bouldering - whatever next?

Needing to sort the bouldering out for the new Lofoten guidebook, I spent a day visiting the half-a-dozen popular spots, playing on a few problems and taking pictures. I have never been a fan of bouldering, it always feels to much like 'playing on rocks' to me.
Having said that, they day after my session, I was aching all over and I'm not sure my fingers will ever work again - so maybe there is a point to it all!
Anyway, there is loads to go at, in some of the most sublime locations imaginable.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Eggum, but no chips!

Colin's three weeks went quite slowly - but then suddenly it was time to deliver him to the the tiny airport at Svolvaer for his return trip (which will include spending the night at Bodo airport because of the connections).
We decided to visit Eggum out on the north coast on the last day, a recently developed sport crag with about 20 routes - mostly in the harder grades. Colin cracked of three of the easier ones - up to Norwegian 7+ (about F7a) in good style, we had a wander out to view a sculpture (a strangely intriguing head on a plinth) on a foggy headland then headed for home. The shot is a montage of the sculpture from two different directions!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Up with the eagles

A couple of cool showery days came and went then it was back to hot (22 degrees) and sunny. We decided to head up to Glamtinden, I nice little peak we climb every year, and have a look at Eagle Ridge. The route was worth the effort, though some of the rock was a bit soft and crumbly. Despite this the positions are quite superb, making up somewhat fot the sections of 'iffy' rock. The views from the summit are magnificent.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Rest for the Wicked?

After over two weeks of excellent weather, we finally got a day's rain and a chance for a bit of a rest and to catch up on all the jobs that have needed doing. We have done some great routes, including High Priest (on the Priest) yesterday afternoon, getting back from just as the sky started to turn milky and the wind started to get up.

We had arranged to go out in Thorbjorn's new boat to gets some crag-shots of the Priest, but the strengthening wind and the fact that we were late down due to a jammed abseil rope (hats off to Colin for eventually extracting it from the depths of the crack) meant we decided to leave for a calmer evening!

"50 Years Ago Today"

Big Chris and Smaller Colin - 50 years on and still getting wet! Colin was heading back from Spain to the UK so he called in and we spen...