Archive for July, 2010

Ode to Lofoten

I still want to climb sport just about as hard as anyone can imagine. But there is just something about Lofoten that puts things in perspective. Suddenly it is possible to get super psyched about softer climbing.

Because you could fall off the edge of the world. Because you can see across the ocean. Because the world is all water, air and rock. Because it is all suddenly beautiful. Because the world is empty, and it is just you and the rock. And I love the rock. I love the beautiful. I love the air, the ocean, the wind, the gulls, the rain. I love everything that makes it a hard inch. Everything that makes it rough. Everything that makes my hands bleed. Everything that makes my belly go “whooooaaaaahhhh!”. Everything that wears my fingers down to the nubs. Everything that makes me roar in desperation. I love it all. Even the cold fingers, the rain down my neck, the toes I can no longer feel, the blood, the salt, the wind, the wet fleece, the shredded gore tex, the nut that won’t fit, the damn cams who walk, the cracks, the jugs, the crimps, the wet slopers, the slings, the smiles, the tangled ropes and the sunshine highway. This is my little ode to Lofoten climbing. And those who were there know, I didn’t see much. But what I saw, I really saw. I felt it. I really felt it. Real deep. I know it. It felt better. It felt stronger. It felt clearer. It felt more black, more white, more red, more blues, more grey, more solid, more wild, more salt, more hard, more strong, more wicked, more kind, more open, more fresh, more love, more life. It felt more! Give me half a chance, and I am there. I will it so.

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Home again

I just drove my dad and his new pup, Teodor, to the airport. And it feels a little empty here after spending 2 weeks among many new friends and family.

Maybe I will take the day and soak a little in a nice hot bath of self-pity, add some regret and maybe a splash of broken heart for flavour. And just chill. After I clear out all the junk from the car of course. I have to indulge the dark side sometimes, lest it grow desperate and break out all together. And we can’t have that. Oh no, we can’t have that. Then tomorrow I go climbing and shake all this shit off.

Monday is back to war.

New challenges

My partner in climb, and main man, Gorm seems to be moving north to go to school. This will leave me without a regular partner for the most important part of the season. You know, the part where I crack 5.11.

Gorm is one of my very best friends, and I’ll miss his cheerful and supportive nature. I wish him the very best wherever his studies take him. And if he goes north, then I get a good excuse to pop up there for some wicked climbing.

I’m not completely certain how I will solve this lack of climbing partner problem. One way would be to join one of the many climbing groups. I suppose another would be to post a classified ad. A third would be to just go to the crag hoping to find an odd man or woman out to hook up with. The last one might require a little more social nerve than I have at the moment, but I wont know until I try it.

Joining a climbing group has obvious advantages, as it involves more people, higher chances of having someone to climb with on any given day. But as you add more people, the decision-making process gets more complicated, and each person has less influence over where you go, what type of climbing you do, etc. And I am pretty particular about my regime. I need total control of my climbing. And I am a no compromises sort of guy. I guess I will have to try it out and see how it goes.

Finding a partner who is as extreme as I am is probably unlikely, but would without a doubt be the best thing. Only one person to make decisions with, and the climbing is efficient with only 2 people switching up on climbing. But then there are scheduling conflicts. And what happens when I need to put in 6 weeks of power bouldering, and the partner wants to do endurance cycles at the same time?

The third option is probably the coolest, but also the least reliable source for climbing partners. At least you will have basically the same goals for the day, as you are in the same place at the same time already. But of course I would have to go to the crowded crags, and leave my favourite secluded ones. Climbers seem to be a fairly open and sociable bunch so it might not be too hard to find someone to climb with. Bt then there is the issue of being belayed by strangers. I have seen so much just plain stupid shit going on with belayers around, the thought of relying on one of those fools for my safety scares me half to death. I guess I need to be super clear about what I expect, and if it doesn’t help, just get the hell off that rock.

I want to climb outside until the season is stone cold dead and covered in snow. so I need some way to make it possible. But as you can see I am not yet clear on how I want to do it.

Climbing this fall is all about hard, powerful moves to grow as strong as I can to hit that benchmark of 5.11. Bouldering or hanging out at Fosskollen is the ticket. But then there is my new-found love for multi pitch trad. If you are reading this and want to go to Andersnatten or Nissedal, give me a shout. I’m aching for that. Oh and Store Skagastølstind. That one is on the list for the fall as well.

Oh well, time to pack the car and get ready. Plenty of time to think on these things as we ride through the Swedish forests.

No advice forthcoming. I suspect he wants me to focus on summits with him. Hopefully there will be time for that as well.

Southbound

Heading south today. Another long, long drive through Sweden. arriving home in Grua sometime Friday evening. Hopefully I will be well enough for some climbing on Sunday.

I’m going to miss the landscapes up here. There is something so powerful about the experiences had here. Ocean, sky and steep rock. I’m returning home (to he north) in 2012.

No summit today

The cold I have been brewing on finally got me today. Nasty cough, feels like I’m breathing through a straw and my nose is completely clogged up.

So today is all about trying to get well in time for the drive south on Wednesday. I really hope this is the worst of it…

Breitind

The fog was thick and low this morning, so my departure was delayed until it cleared a bit. I reached the start of the ascent at 11:40, and the sun was shining. Perfect conditions.

The start is pretty steep, until you reach Svartholvatnet. I felt good going up, and after the steepest part I enjoyed the easier trek from Svartholvatnet up to Breitindvatnet where I had a bit of a lunch break, before continuing past the lake and starting the ridge towards the summit of Breitind.

I had been warned that Dante might not be able to make the climb, and for once it turned out the naysayers were right. It quickly became a struggle to push Dante up over rocks, and we frequently had to turn back a little to find an easier path. After a while I decided I did not want to risk getting him up to a point where I could not get him down again, and I did not feel comfortable leaving him anywhere on the ridge to continue alone.

So we turned around before reaching the summit. We were  pretty close, I estimate about 100-150 meters of altitude remaining. We covered about 800 meters on our hike, which is respectable in my book for a days work.

No summit, but a beautiful trek through some amazing landscapes. And I am completely exhausted after another 5 hour hike. Great stuff, and the summit will be mine next time. Dante will just have to sit that one out.

Tomorrow I will try for Hjerttinden with its 1380 meters. It is more accessible, so Dante and I can get to the summit together.

Kistefjell

I have decided to collect a 1000 meter summit every day of my stay here in Finnsnes. Today I started with Kistefjell at 1003 meters. It is not a spectacular trip, but it starts walking out the door at my parents, so I figured it would be a good start. It took me just over 5 hours, with a little break on the summit for some food and pictures.

I was really nackered coming down, so it felt like a really good workout.

Tomorrow Breitind awaits with its 1017 meters.