Monday and good forecast saw a team assembled, Graham and Dan (home from Uni) plus Dave Vince on his 50th birthday. We fancied somewhere a bit different and so tootled over to Ramshaw, not unexpectedly we had the place to ourselves. I soloed a few easier ticks that I had never done, and we tackled off a few of the E1s on the crag and a varied bunch they were too:
Louie Groove (E1 5b) - very mild at the grade despite the boldish last move. An oddity for Ramshaw as it is delicate and very short-lived.
Sneeze (E1 5b) - a tricky little monkey with a hard layback start, a precarious middle, and a rounded top-out. The 'definitives' two stars is a bit generous, and the suggestion to leave the ropes behind is just odd!
Alcatraz (E1 5b) - another that felt low in the grade (it used to be HVS), but a steep and imposing line with a nice wriggly off-width to finish and good gear throughout.
The Untouchable (E1 5b) - a hanging bulging crack reached by a tricky little traverse. The crack is pumpy and leads to a 'lovely' finish on fist jams - very tasty!
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
That's that then! Time to reflect on a superb three weeks in Lofoten, the highlight of which was probably Friday 13th. We had a gentle day scoping out Alan and Mark as they steamed up Vestpillaren. They were on the top of Festvågtinden at 6:30 and still made it to the Nord Norske Klatreskole at five minutes to eight, just in time for the guidebook launch.
The evening was a great success, the beer flowed, yarns were spun and Thorbjørn was the perfect host - my glass never got less than half empty all evening. Sadly Arild Meyer couldn't be there (a bad back from too much DIY) so we called in for cakes and coffee the next day, after clipping a few bolts at Finvika, just to say hello.
The party wound down at about 2:00am and "Lutta's Taxi Service" ferried everybody home, before we bedded down we checked out Vagåkallen bathed in the early morning light - quite superb.
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Two weeks up here now and the sun hasn't sent, and won't for about another six weeks - which is all a bit strange. Even stranger is that once again, the weather has been great for us.
The Lofoten guidebooks have yet to arrive and everyone is waiting with bated breath - last thing we heard, they had made it as far as Oslo, so at least things are moving along.
We have climbed (new routes and old) fished, and hiked, and Colin has been plodding around up amongst the snow and ice that still blankest the core of the islands.
Everywhere is very quite, we have hardly seen another climber, which is great - just how we like it!