Saturday 12 March 2011

The Land of the Giant Cod

Having been home now from Norway for a few days I think I've just about caught up on lost sleep from all the  travelling and my skin cells feel like they've replenished after the battering winds and waves of spindrift.
Looking back on the trip it's totally refreshed my mind about everything I love about winter climbing. The totally raw experience of heading out early morning with your mates in the darkness not knowing what stories you were going to come home with.
Over the last few seasons I've been totally focussed on doing hard new lines or hard repeats in Scotland. Becoming obsessed with blogs and weather forecasts trying to pick the ideal time to pounce, to seize the moment. I'd forgotten all the joys of discovery that I'd experienced in years gone by.
Having spent 2 weeks in Fort William prior to heading to Lofoten mostly drinking coffee and kicking my heels in despair at the poor weather I was all too pleased to head far far away.
Meeting Pete Benson in Oslo airport with the news of rising temperatures in Lofoten was not the what any of us wanted to hear.
But hey, we couldn't complain what a stunning place. I can imagine it's like Scotland was 50 years ago as far as winter climbing goes, lines to be had everywhere.
We got blasted from every direction with wind and snow and lots of head scratching went on, not just from us but everyone else on the meet. There were a few epics and late nights descending in storms for most people.  The beauty for me was being able to just head out and have fun with your mates, then sharing the stories back in the bar, and not being obsessed with grades and how hard things were.
These meets are always great for meeting folk and sharing new ideas as well as grabbing inspiration for the future.

Many thanks to the Norwegian Alpine Club for their amazing hospitality
and Mountain Equipment for making it all happen

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