Monday, July 5, 2010

Norway Update

It's been a while since my last blog post so here's a few photos from my latest trip to Norway. I'm back home now and pretty busy editing footage from the trip. We're putting together a short film again. Hopefully we can finish the edit soon.

We spent most of this trip near Trondheim, in Harbak and Vingsand, and last stop was the Lofoten Islands as soon as it stopped snowing up there. Harbak and Vingsand were definitely worth the trip, but Lofoten didn't quite match my expectations. While the weather turned out to be really good around Trondheim, in Lofoten the weather was more unstable than I could even imagine. We basically had to take advantage of every moment it didn't rain. The weather seemed to be more calm at night, so we started climbing at night, not that it really mattered when you climb since the sun did not set at all.

We spent most of the time filming so there aren't that many photos, but here are some from all of the areas we visited.

First ascent of Outlook            
I heard about this boulder from a friend of mine who discovered it last year. It's very high quality sandstone with a small lighthouse on top of boulder. We put up a few really good problems here.

 First Ascent of Outlook           
I felt like I got in a really good shape this trip. I managed to flash two 8A+ boulders: Fokus in Harbak and Talib in Vingsand. Flashing Talib was very effortless, but I was convinced by my friends that it is indeed 8A+. On top of that I got the first ascents of two well known projects in Norway: The Diamond 8B in Vingsand and Rough Gem 8B in Lofoten, both of which are very proud and beautiful lines. Another first ascent worth mentioning is Straight Outta Hellvika 8A+ which climbs the biggest and most obvious line out of the Hellvika cave. I also got really close to sending a hard roof project in Vingsand that I called the Greg Valentino project, because of the very bicep-intensive crux move.

Video frame, FA of Rough Gem 8B in Lofoten at 3 A.M.          

Harbak view            

Video frame of me flashing Fokus 8A+ in Harbak           

The highlight of the trip was without a doubt grabbing the first ascent of the Diamanten project in Vingsand. I had seen photos of this amazing diamond shaped boulder already two years ago. Just seeing the photos got me syked to go there and hearing that both Fred Nicole and Bernd Zangerl have tried it was sort of a conformation that it has to be pretty good. People who had worked on it speculated that it must be 8B+. Later an important hold broke off making it even harder.

First Ascent of The Diamond            

I managed to do the first ascent in one day and that's why I didn't think it was quite hard enough to be 8B+, so I gave it 8B. We'll see what other people think of the grade. Regardless of the grade The Diamond is an amazing problem. It must be one of the best boulders I've climbed in Europe. The photo above unfortunately doesn't do justice for the problem. I'll try to get better photo from someone and we also have video footage of the send.

      First Ascent of Where's the Paradise?           

Eventually we got tired of the Lofoten weather and left a couple days early. I might be going back again soon possibly to try to finish the Greg Valentino project and try to find a new area. On the drive back home we made a couple quick stops and I ticked Lada Miestä Kuljettaa Assis 8A+ and Paddington which I think deserves a downgrade to 8A after I climbed it 3 times in a row.

Slartibartfast in Lofoten            

Sømp 8A in Harbak            

Midnight Sun 7C+ in Lofoten            

Here's my ticklist from this trip:

The Diamond 8B   First Ascent
Rough Gem 8B     First Ascent
Trouble 8A+
Fokus 8A+     FLASH
Talib 8A+       FLASH
Origins 8A+
Straight Outta Hellvika 8A+        First Ascent
Lada Miestä Kuljettaa Assis 8A+
Cool Hand Luke 8A
Sømp 8A
Lynx 8A
Torstein problem 8A
Full Battery 8A         First Ascent
Paddington 8A
Hurtigruttan 7C+
Strong Youth 7C+
Neptune 7C+
Akkurat Der 7C+
Midnight Sun 7C+
Tare Baby 7C+
Nesten der 7C+
Midnight Madness ?      First Ascent