Friday, August 19, 2011

Sportclimbing on Kvaloya, Ersfjorden

Climbing up Granitveien, a very strange but photogenic 6- (French 5+)

After the first days of Gore-Tex Experience Tour spent trying out the big wall and its much smaller offspring boulders, we finally went sport climbing - my speciality!  Just 30 minutes walking distance from our fisherman's cabin are the big boulders of Ersfjord.  The main attraction is formed by two big boulders, over 20 meters high, called Resekjerringa and Resekallen, that as the guidebook mystically says, are "treasure objects" of Saami culture.  The first name translates as the Troll, and the second as an evil female demon.  Trolls are an interesting species by themselves - usually assumed to live in isolated places, rarely friendly, they form part of Norse mythology and have fascinated me for a while.  I remember bringing back home a troll from my first trip to Oslo 10 years ago, although it has disappeared, mysteriously, since.  Now I am on a mission to find a replacement troll that I promised as a Nordic token for Silvia's precious baby, Montse.  I like trolls, partly because they appeal to the dark corners of my own character, and I do appreciate visiting their country very much lately.

Fisherman's boat parked near our cabin, picture by myself

A different take on the same theme of man and the boat by Paul, our official photographer on the Gore-Tex tour.  You can see the difference in skills, I do find the below picture inspiring - taken while shooting into the sun, on the approach to Ersfjorden by Paul:

The actual climbing at Ersfjorden proved very good, with tilted bouldery granite problems.  Very different from the slabby and cold Blamannen - most routes we tried were rather short and intense.  After contemplating several crack lines and warming up on the backside in the welcome shadow, we started the exploration with Helena getting our eyes on Psilocin, an attractive 7a crackline, where I managed to fall off the last move onsighting.  Using well the hanging draws, I next jumped on the near-by Sjamanen, and fell off this one quite low, at the bouldery crux off the second quickdraw.  The onsight attempt finished with the same luck on its neighbour, another 7b called Moctezumas Hevn.  Inspired by the boulder moves, I managed to redpoint Sjamanen, one of the more popular 7bs of the crag by the crowd wisdom of, on the next go.  Moving down the line, I finished the day with a final well-earned onsight (almost falling off at the last moves near the anchor) of a beautiful diagonal crack called Buestrengen, 7a, and gave Ramadan a (quick and rather lame) try provided the strong appeal of the hanging quickdraws and the eye of the camera staring into the blue distance beyond this steep line:

Struggling up Ramadan, first bolted 8a of Northern Norway

All this action wetted my appetite for more, as I watched a girl climb up In Deliri Flagrante, another superb 7b+ crack line that I'd love to give a [corrected] flash attempt on another day weather permitting.  Sport climbing is truly fun, and granite again made my day a good one.  Cheers to granite and to more sport climbing in Norway.  To be continued!

Most pictures above courtesy of Paul Diffley, Hot Aches Production.


Marc Wolff said...

watching another girl climb a route does not qualify as an onsight attempt afterwards ;)
try RAMADAN again! you look good on it!

uasunflower said...

yes, sir, you are right, my totally wrong vocabulary has just been corrected =)

looking good on a route does not qualify for being able to pull off all the moves on it though!