Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Loitering on Lofoten

 After a cool week at Riksgransen on the Norway/Sweden border, with snow showers and night-time lows of 2C we made the four hour drive to Lofoten and booked into a cabin on the Ørsvåvær campsite for three weeks.
Colin flew into Svolvær after a trouble free journey, and we nipped out the same afternoon to do the classic Pianohandlers route on Pianokrakken. The weather was great and to our surprise we had the crag to ourselves - a rare thing in the high season.
10 days in and the weather has been quite unsettled, with a number of grey days, though there has been little 'real' rain as we have manage to get out and climb on a regular basis.
The whole place is busy with tourists and camper-wagons but there doesn't
appear to be a huge number of climbers about - the camping area at Gandalf has never had more than 3 or 4 tents there,
Colin leaves in just over a week, then we can go back to working on the book and taking it easy - the forecast is much better too!
Talking of 'the Book',  work on the Lofoten rewrite has progressed well and most of the popular areas around Henningsvær are pretty much finished. We will need to spend some time visiting the remote crags out West and for that we will need some proper summer weather - we have all on July and part of August to work with, so bring it on.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Round the Circle

Down some lazy river - summer in the Ariège
The month in the Ariège passed too quickly, but it always does so that shouldn't have come as a big surprise. The journey home was as easy as ever though the queues at Carcassonne airport were a bit of a shock to folks not used to travelling in the summer - good job we didn't leave it too late arriving there.
The call of the Grit - mint conditions on Stanage
The UK was a bit of a contrast, initially three days of a chilly northerly and temperatures around 10C - it didn't feel much like June.
Then the sun came out,and a jolly team assembled on Stanage for a day on the Grit. It was very convivial, loads of routes were done and there was plenty of time do discuss aliments, injuries and operations - the joys of growing old.
Anyway, the big bags are packed - time to head for the far north again. For the second summer we are flying into Sweden en route for Lofoten as the car hire prices there are about 1/3 of those in Norway. It currently looks a bit cold and unsettled up there, I don't think the short Arctic summer has started properly yet. We will need to pack plenty of warm clothes but hopefully we won't need snowshoes or skis!

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...