Monday, 25 July 2011

Homeward Bound

Over nine weeks since we left home - it has been a cracking trip, with sparkling weather, some great venues and a generally mellow time. Climbing, hiking, fishing, berry-picking, birding - a Norwegian version of the Good Life. I suggested to Sherri it might be nice to have a bit of time padding up some Swiss granite again in September, and she pointed out that we need to go home 1st as there was a fair bit to do in the UK, especially sorting out Peak Limestone - ooops!

Thorbjørn and Lutta have done us proud and saved us a fortune by letting us stop in the Pink House in Henningsvaer, that is a few drinks we owe them. I think we may have persuaded them to sample Kalymnos in the Autumn, so I can square up with a few Metaxas at Babis Bar!

We have booked on the Hurtigruten (did it by phoning the ship!) from Svolvaer to Trondheim, after a month+ of perpetual daylight it will be a bit strange down there in the dark!

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!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Away from it All

Lofoten was getting pretty busy (see previous Blog) and Thorbjørn let slip that he had a 'cabin' up in the hills up near the Swedish border - a four hour drive later and we were established!
At 1700' we expected it to be cool, thought the 24 hr daylight and a 'bubble' of warm air meant the temperature reached a sweaty 27C, the hottest we have ever experienced in Norway.
Not to be phased we have done some fine walks up in the hills, including Haugfjell and its bizarre ladder which is the only way through the extensive cliff-line, as well as some excellent sport climbing down by the coast.
The 'cabin' is about as plush as you could wish for and there is the added bonus of 'cheap' (all things being relative) shopping over the border in Sweden.
Last night the fog rolled in and today the temperature was a more reasonable 10C, with a low of 4C in the night - a bit more like it!

Back to Blighty

Yarncliffe Quarry - hot After a great 10 days in Chamonix it really was time to get back on the road - a steady ride to Zeebrugge and th...