Recently I spent some days in Norway in the area of Tysfjorden. This is where you find mountains such as Stetind and Eidetind with the Klubbruta climbing route.
Just a couple of days before this I also spent some days at Kebnekaise leading our 26 talents team att SolidEngineer towards the mountain. We really had lots of fun and learnt alot about each other. This was a true adventure for most of the team and it required getting out of your comfort zone when hanging on the via ferrata at the east wall of the mountain. One group for sure got out of the zone – the Skartaklacken summit team! My selected route turned out as a challenge to the team. I could feel a certain similarity to St.Victoire this summer. Steep, ice, snow, water, no ropes, rock falls….. but things went well. STF´s Kebnekaise Fjällstation is just a great place to visit and the 3 days there were very intensive.
Leaving the team at Kiruna airport and going on to Norway by your own was a hugh contrast. I often have the initial feeling of becoming extremely alone when starting a new adventure. Its like crossing in between two emotions in life. Its often the time when reflections on lifestyle hits you. Why do I do this, well because you ofcourse love doing it ….. and so on. These emotions and thoughts left me passing by Narvik. The feeling of rolling down into a fjord is massive, its so big, you feel the connection to the ocean, roads change, you run through 2-3 km tunnels and suddenly stop at this touching sunset. Its time for some real adventure and exactly now! I just love it and try to assimilate every second of the experience!
Slightly delayed the next surpise came up right infront of my car. I have never seen the moon right on top of a mountain peek when the air is a bit humid. I just had to stop the car and run around some pastures with barb wire in my way for the perfect shot.
Slightly very delayed I understood that driving in Norway needs patience even if I had experienced this many times before. I needed some sleep since Charlie was expecting me at 6AM at the foot of Stetind next morning. I decided to get a hotelroom instead of raising my tent which was so tempting….
Charlie is my climbingmate and trainer and he works together with Seth Hobby at Northern Alpine Guides in the area of Lofoten in Norway.
6AM: The first view of Stetind made me amazed, its big, its steep, its technical – this will be awesome and I can do it! Stetind, towering next to Tysfjord in far northern Norway, is a granite peak that rises from sea level to 1391m at the summit. Stetind is the National Mountain of Norway. There is something special about this mountain. You start trekking at sea level +10m so no altitude cheating!
So we started our trek towards the first level when you take on the helmet and fill upp water. The first part was rather steep and demanding but we did it in 3 hours which made me convinced that things had improved. Charlie was really pushing fast so I had to kind of check his thoughts about that – “…well, this is part of the Everest training..” was the answer, well good enough! Its easy to think the mountain is closer than it actually is. We had to trek half way around the mountain before we arrived to the point when we emptied parts of our backpacks. Harness and climbing gear on!
As the first morning sunshine hit my face I felt like being filled up with a liquid called energy. Last time I had the same feeling was in Everest Base Camp after a snowy night when the same type of energy arrived.
After checking our equipment we decided to proceed and get off to some real rock climbing.
Next to the south pilar of Stetind we followed the normal route. Its not very demanding except for the “De Ti Forbitrede Fingertak” at Mysosten and that your left and right side is very steep. Charlie took the lead and setup four friends in the crack and some minutes later I was on belay. Unfortunatelly I accidently lost my ATC and we had to climb down a couple of meters to get it. I was so embarrassed…. However, I was very lucky it didnt go down the wall. This is when it became very clear to me that I had some 4-500m down a wall if something went wrong. Charlie is great friend in these moments of a climb and made me focus when the lesson was learnt. First and second friend removed made me suddenly loose power in my arms and this is when your brain starts thinking about the options. I decided to go back and rest with one knee hanging on a shelf. Some five minutes later I started a new attempt and removed two more friends and past the famous “…Fingertak”. Its fascinating to follow your thoughts during such a climbing section. You manage different options and always balance them towards being on belay. However, I tried to have the mindset that I wasn´t on belay. This made me stay very focused even if I shortly started shaking on the left foot when friction was the only thing keeping it in place on the vertical wall. Rapelling down from the “Mysosten” was also a great feeling and you have to trust your partner totally which creates a very special friendship. The toughts are always there in some way…”can I trust one single rope and exactly this rope, ofcourse!” After a while I realized how large the south wall was when finally seeing the single climber getting into the dead-end climbing a crack under a slanting rough-shelf some hundred meters away (click on the red circle in the photo below and you can see the small climber on the wall).
Once being on top of Stetind the big surprise is how large and flat the peak is. Its like a fotball field in size and it must be a great place to stay overnight.
My second day in Tysfjorden went to a well known area called Eidetind and the Klubbruta route no.3 which is a 4+ climbing area to train more of multipitch. This was much more technical compared to the days before and I gained lots of new learnings. Being there in early September meant having the moutain for ourselves which was a great feeling. I never before had understood what it means being lost on a steep mountain wall. This was really something we trained at. We picked routes that perhaps wouldnt work which meant going down again for the purpose of training. So many learnings is so great!