"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

An arctic day high in Tamokdalen

We left the road heading northwest, snowshoes crumping in the snow as we walked up through birch woods for 45 minutes. At one point, as I waited for Nick, what looked like a Marsh tit flew up and sat on a branch five feet away, bold as brass, hoping for tastier food than the lichen or moss it had been taking off the birch trunks.

As we rose above the treeline a wide basin came into view surrounded by mountains. On the northwest side of the basin were 4 fine icefalls. Our approach involved a steep snow traverse high above a frozen lake, scary not so much for avalanche potential but because a mis-step would have led to a steep and very long slide down to the lake. It took 3 hours to reach the base of the climb from the car, most of it on the traverse.
We chose the second climb on the left, the steepest. It turned out to be 90m WI5, the second pitch just off-vertical for 50 metres. Another cracking lead by Nick, and a superb climb.
Thanks Aadne!

Dinner is chicken & pesto pasta with cheese, salami and veg, an easy favourite of this trip.
Nick has just remarked, "my head and heart want to climb tomorrow, but my body isn't willing." Let's see. It was a big day.


  1. Top effort guys, but you really need skis! Easier to get up and SOOOOoooo much easier to get down again after! :-)

    Keep it up - only a few more days to go.

  2. Toby, I wish I *could* ski: it occurred to us that to ski off the bottom belay would be a wild way off - it was steep.