Sunday, 17 July 2011

Just a 'Normal" Sunday

The peak of Hamarøy Skaften pierces the sky not far from the Skutvik ferry. It looks totally inaccessible from the east, though the guide says the West Face is home to the three star classic 'Normal Route' which involves a lot of scrambling and five pitches up to Norwegian Grade 5-. The day was glorious and despite it being a Sunday, there were only two other teams on the mountain, a family group of five, and a couple of Norwegian lasses who were just 'learning the ropes'. They had done the North Face of the Romsdalhorn a few days ago as their 1st outdoor route: talk about in at the deep-end!
The approach took us a steady hour, and the route another couple. The five graded pitches (4+, 4, 5-, 4+, 5-) up grooves, corners and chimneys were a bit graunchy and the tricky 'hand-traverse' had Sherri pondering for a while. The view from the top extended from the rocky spike of Stetind over to the east, all the way round to the 'Lofoten Wall' sticking up beyond the blueness of the West Fjord. A report from the UK of more appalling weather back there was just the cherry on the cake.
We had out butties by the summit cairn, then headed down. Fortunately there is a bolted abseil line so the descent isn't too much of a problem though I did wonder for a moment how Martin Ekroll and Angel Johannesson got back down in 1888 after their First Ascent - impressive stuff.
Now it is about time to head back to Lofoten - there's fishing to be done!

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