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

Thursday, 17 March 2011


We woke early, to hear wind gusting around the cabin. The sun was out but we didn't fancy cold windy belays. Over our now standard breakfast of muesli with yoghurt, banana and raisins we worked through our dwindling list of ice venues would be sheltered from a south-easterly.

In the end we plumped for our original choice, a climb Kjetil had mentioned, and that we'd seen in a valley west of the road at Furuflaten.

By 09:30 we were at the base of the icefall, which was out of the wind. It looked to be a fairly short and easy climb but by now we'd learned that appearances can be deceptive up here. Part of the fun of there being no guidebook. As we were gearing up Nick remarked that "if it wasn't for foreshortening no-one would climb anything."

I led the first pitch. About halfway up the icefall I was nearing the end of the 60m ropes, so belayed and brought Nick up.

Nick led on, sending ice whizzing down. I didn't manage to dodge all the incoming fire and, for the 2nd time this trip, took a small piece of ice on the bridge of my nose.

The 2nd pitch was steeper than it had looked, as well as longer. The climb is a good, 110m WI4.

There were white horses on the waves in the fjord as we drove back to the cabin.

Stein-Are's dad came round after we got back. He's given us the key to the sauna and said to fire up the sauna's wood-burner today and tomorrow too if we like. The sauna is heating now.

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