Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Good as it Gets.

Lofoten in high summer is an amazing spot when the weather is kind, and as ever (for us) it has been just that. With 24 hour daylight, it is the height of the season now - we usually arrive at the end of July when all the Norwegians have started heading south again, so it has been a bit of a shock to see the place really packed and queues on many of the easier classics. I thought it was the fault of the guidebook, but Thorbjørn insists it is like this every summer for a few short weeks.
Weekends in the Climbing Cafe have been great/crazy depending on your outlook, with live music well into the small hours and a great social scene. The music doesn't usually start untill gone 10:30, and we have had to bail at 2:00 a.m. whilst everything was still in full swing!
For a 'rest' we took Thorbjørn's Jack Russell Elvis for a walk up Tjelbergtinden - I am not sure which of the three of us was most knackered by the time we got back to the car, but I'm guessing it wasn't Elvis!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Midsummer Magic

Back in Lofoten after three years, brilliant. It is a month earlier than we used to visit (school holidays, remember them?) but the place is remarkably busy both with tourists and with climbers. We have made the required ascent of Glømtinden (above), been fishing a few times (caught 10 on one trip) and generally started to relax from the journey up. Thorbørn and Lutta invited us to their 'new' house for a midsummer's day celebratory meal and drinks - excellent.
The 24 hour daylight takes a bit of getting used to but we are coping, though we have had some pretty late nights.
The weather was has been a bit cool and grey but the forecast is better - time for some rocking I feel. Trouble is I don't have a guidebook - how strange is that!
Saturday night was a session in the Climbing Cafe, it started quietly enough but when Mr West fired up his electric guitar the place began to really rock - we left at half-past midnight - and the locals were just getting into their stride - and I have to say, despite having some doubts, the music was brilliant!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Northern Lights

Colin packed off home (a super easy flight back to Newcastle) so it is time to head North in search of those mysterious lights that glow at midnight just over the horizon. We hopped aboard the Hurtigruten (Fast Route) boat at Trondheim and sailed north. It is an incredibly civilised way to travel, and damn expensive unless you are careful. With it being peak season there were no cabins available, but there was car and deck-space which was good enough for us.
In the event there was a cancellation and we landed a 'suite' for £70 - about a 20% of the going rate - SD comes up trumps again.
Sailing up the coast is a great way to see the amazing array of undeveloped rock that forms Norway's west coast.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Nissedal - a nice Dale!

A great 10 days up in Nissedal draws to a close, it was busy last weekend (National holiday) and this one too (another National holiday!!!). In between the place has been pretty much deserted. The weather has been kind, a bit too hot to begin with, then cooling down nicely. We have done a host of great routes from single pitch sporty routes, to some fine six pitch offerings on the bigger cliffs.
The second bank holiday caught us unawares, with no cash to pay the campsite and little left in the larder. Hopefully tomorrow we can pay our bills and escape, heading off towards Colin's flight home on Thursday. Beyond that we have a ferry from Trondheim to Bodø booked, though the E6 is blocked by floodwaters - could be interesting!

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Nine out of Ten!

It finally rained yesterday, up to that point we had climbed nine days out of ten and to be honest I was starting to wither, and that wasn't just because of the heat. Of course Colin just cruises on and I try to keep up as best I can.
The week+ in the Drammen area was really excellent with a lot of quality cliffs, probably Muserud was the highlight (photo left). Then on the way to Nissedal we stopped at a crag called Espedaled near Bø and it was great, though sheltered in the forest it was almost unbearably hot. The place is already pencilled in for a return visit on the way back to the airport.
Nissedal is a superb as ever; it was busy over the weekend, with Ascension Day on Thursday and Sweden's National Day on Monday the place was pretty busy with lots of folks making a long weekend. It has all gone quiet again now though. We visited a small sport crag on Saturday as we thought the bigger cliffs might be busy. As it turned out there was a team of 10 jolly Swedes there. Unannounced and out of the blue one of them piped up "We thought you guys would be up on Haegarfjell" - apparently they had been reading my Blog - it is a small world!

A month in Switzerland

Gornergrat - rammed A month passed in Switzerland and it has been very pleasant, climbing, hiking, chilling and even doing a bit of to...