lørdag 17. november 2012

A summary of the summer that was

A bad internet connection (and then I mean back to the 90´s bad!) at the casa in Santa Linya + a tendency to write time consuming small essays, not short blog posts... made me give up on the blogging once more after the January post.

Now equipped with a brand new Macbook Pro (with Retina and shit!), I am able to go out to where the good internet can be found:) If I find it I´ll give the blogging another go.
This time (as the previous times of course) with every intention of keeping my posts somewhat brief in words with some pictures and maybe a video thrown in every now and again.

What happened in Spain the last 4 months after January I will not even try to get into,
but some small parts of it can be found on the blogs of friends:

Since past events have a tendency to affect the present and the future o_O. Some bits and pieces of this "black information hole" might appear in a "flashback" kinda way once I get to the present and this years happenings down here in Spain.
Until then, what ever happened, is for me to know and you to ....

I will start this new (not counting) attempt at blogging (as the title would suggest) somewhere around the beginning of the summer a month or two after having returned from Spain.

Since I haven´t just been chilling, I will make it as brief as I can and probably forget or just skip a lot to catch up to the present.

The summer that was, part 1

The day after I returned to Sogndal, I went out with my good friend Ole Karsten Birkeland to bolt some new routes at a crag called Hønjum in Lærdal. The crag had 3 routes from before but had been abandoned for a long time (5-10 years or something).
The local farmer wanted climbers to come (the wall is like 30 meters from he´s house), so he had called Ole a week before, and now we where there.

It is not known what had been climbed of the old routes, but since there was some tape in the first bolt on one of them (and no chalk even tho it never gets wet) I am guessing at least that one was unclimbed.

After cleaning all the holds I sent it within a few tries and it became Jedi Mind Tricks 7c+, a future super classic for sure (if people actually go there that is...)
3/4 is mainly a crack climb (and I am quite sure it could be climbed on gear...), but since bolts where in already and we where unsure of the rock quality, I used the bolts. (For shame!) I am psyched to come back and do it clean on gear next spring tho, but having used the bolts to work it I will leave them in.

Here are a few pictures of Ole Karsten and Anders on the route.

"Ole eyeing up the "jug" at the top of the crack" 

"Anders enjoying the rest at the top of the crack"

 "Anders faces the really funky mantel move after the crack part"

"Ole just before he slipped of the funky mantel move"

The new routes we bolted are all either easy, unfinished or hard projects we where not able to do in the few days we spent there.

Here is a picture of my team mate and local talent Olav on one of the old routes we figured was around 7a (or was it +?) 
"Team Vertikal climber Olav the talent"

Sogndal is a great place to be in the spring. Climbing conditions can be really good, and there is still snow in the mountains.
On the Norwegian nations birthday (May 17), Ole and I decided against standing downtown all dressed up waving our flags and went up on one of the local mountains (25 min drive) to ski.
As much a nationalistic way of celebrating the country as any amount of flag waving in my book.

For me this was the first (and only) skiing trip this season. As far as I can remember I didn´t ski at all the year before, and as I am now back in Spain, this ski season will probably pass me by as well.
No matter, I still managed to both get up the mountain and down, rock the telemark turn with the proficiency of a scared novice and somehow not fall even thought I really should have several times.

"Ole at the parking, the mountain way off in the back there somewhere"

"Ole doing he´s thing"

About a week later, Ole and I went back across the fjord to Lærdal. This time to do some white water river canoeing.
Canoeing was something we both did when we studied "Outdoor life" or "Friluftsliv" in Bø in Telemark. I did it on a few trips one year, Ole did it a bit more over 2 years, but after that none of us had been back in a canoe..
Something that meant we where in the 5-10 years whit out practice group that think they´r still really good at it. 
When I come to think about it, I doubt I was ever really good at in the first place, at least that was what hit me when I found myself in some freezing cold water next to the canoe in a grade 3 rapid desperately trying to find a way out.

The whole trip was my kind of classic "epic". We picked up a couple of huge open flat water canoes from the early  90´s, drove up to what seemed like a never ending rapid with loads of big waves (much bigger then what we ever encountered back in Bø). Did next to no scouting of what came after the initial never ending rapid, and just went for it.

I am sad to say I have no pictures.. I did do some gopro filming, but the camera drowned when the casing broke (shit happens when you flip the canoe and the camera starts hitting the rocks...)
The clip of the flip is kinda funny, but I will have to add that later as it is stored on the iMac that at the moment is traveling in the mail somewhere between Norway and Spain.

We did manage pretty well, Ole stayed out of the water (he got lucky basically..), while I went swimming twice... The second time because we got bored of stopping to empty the boats and to much water spilled in. The canoe decided to sink after we cleared the last rapid and where supposed to be home free down in the fjord...

"Since I have no picture, here is a random shot of Sogndal at night from around the same time"

After our little river adventure it was back to business as usual, climbing:) 
I don´t remember that much of the when and where´s, but I know we where a bit all over the place those few weeks the really good conditions lasted.
One of those good days where at Beachen in Stryn whit Ole and Ragnhild, where I managed to onsight warm up on a 7b/+ bouldery route and then go on to flash Aloha (7b+) and onsight Frimureren (7c) before catching a bus to Trondheim for the celebration of my grandmothers 90-th!!! birthday.  
"Ole working Luhr på Tur 7c+, Beachen"

Once I returned from Trondheim the good conditions had gone and summer heat seemed to have set in.
Lead climbing was out of the picture, but reasonably good conditions could still be found on some of Lars Ole´s newly discovered boulders.
Being my usual weak self, I found the new "main" boulder way hard, and after a few session with little progress I gave up, deciding it was time I got back on plastic to recover some of that lost bouldering strength I probably never possessed in the first place.

"Lars Ole on the lower part of the main project line (Plomme something?) 8A+/8B-ish"

I did not spend that much time indoors thought before I again found myself hanging outside in a rope.
This time to reequip some of the best crags on the western coast of Norway, Avsnes and Myggveggen with my friend Jarle Kalland for the Norwegian climbing federation (NKF).

"Not exactly how it went down maybe, but close enough:) photo by Hannah Midtbø"

A video I made for the Norwegian Climbing federation from the project can be seen here:

or at: https://vimeo.com/49849266

Sometime around there Ole and I went down to Bergen for a few days to watch Børres deep water competition and of course do some climbing of our own. 
I forgot to upload pictures from the comp here when I was at the faster internet earlier, but some of the best can be seen in one of the last issues of the norwegian climbing magazine Norsk Klatring.

In Bergen I also managed to flash a 7c+ Ole seemed to be struggling with, something that never fails to bring me loads of joy and Ole a lot of frustration and pressure to get up.
Ole did somehow manage to pull him self together and get up the route, the way I remember it, much to  both he´s own and my surprise.

After Bergen I returned to Myggveggen with Hannah, Jarle, (one guy I can´t remember the name of now, sorry!), Kiffen and Knut´n to try some of the routes I did not get to climb on while Jarle and I where bolting.

The conditions and amount of "knott" (small extremely annoying mini mosquitos) changed a lot during the few days we where there, but during some of those windows with reasonably good conditions we where able to send a couple of really good routes:)
"Jarle on the manufactured Material Tetthet (8b), a testament to a darker side of 90´s ethics"   

"Me on the classic Helse i Fokus 7c+/8a"

"Hannah on Antarktis 8a/+, one of the best routes I´v climbed in Norway"

"Hannah on the last part of Antarktis on her crazy in the middle of the sun send"

Sometime not to long after this I went up to Flatanger for the festival. I worked much of the time so missed the "pro comp" on Odins Eye, but still managed to get some climbs done and get some, in my opinion, really cool pictures (just none from Odin Eye....).

I will upload some of the pics and write a bit more about that and "rockstar" Adam Ondra´s visit to Sogndal in a few days for part 2 of "the summer that was", so stay tuned:)

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