Daring Deeds - real stories, expeditions, road trips and adventure
Senja Frozen Wonderland
By Ramon Marin
04, Mar, 2019
Making the most of winter climbing conditions, Ramon heads to Senja, Norway
I went to Senja by accident really, but being far from on top form, the idea of going somewhere new and adventurous sounded just right. After a bit of an epic journey there, arriving at 3am, we managed a few hours kip before the dreaded 6am alarm went off. Bleary eyed we set off into the dark for our first route, The Great Corner, a Wi5/+ VI by Rich Cross . Once the day dawned we could see that indeed it looked brilliant. I took the first pitch, an easy pure ice romp, but my god I felt rusty, my last lead on pure ice must had been five years ago. We got into the swing of things fast enough though, and soon Rich was at the mixed chimney which he stringed together with the tasty ice pillar above. We all arrived at the belay with a few easy pitches to go but since we did all the hard climbing we bailed from there.
The second route we planned for The Yellow line (the colour of the line in the topo) in Ersfjord. Again I took the first pitch which had a bit a cool section of mixed protected by cams and a bulldog. I got greedy and wanted to do the skinny runnel above too but run out of rope, luckily Rich started simul climbing so I could build a belay. We ran four pitches at full 60mts so we all got our fair share of pump. Getting to the top in the fading light with the endless view of Ersfjord was pretty special.
The highlight of the trip was perhaps climbing a new route onsight, on a face that had no routes on a mountain called Ramnfløy in Ersfjord. With relatively short approach, we were climbing by 7.30am. Rich got the first pitch, a really nice turfy mixed groove line and I took the second pitch, which was a grade V ramp really but still fun. Adam took the money pitch at the top, again with some funky moves and great ice features. We topped out in the glorious sunshine and soaked up the views.
Back at the ranch we packed for a route up on Kyle, a magnificent alpine face, called The Trolls, The Trolls. We simul-climbed the first few pitches with Rich leading the way. Then Adam and I lead some easy but hard to protect pitches before belaying underneath the main event, a mean looking chimney with a looming roof. Adam hadn’t had a crux lead under his belt this trip yet so he strapped it on set off upwards. 3hrs later he shouted “safe” and me and Rich got our frozen bodies into motion. Soon we saw what took so long, a pretty tasty rock pitch with some wild moves. I took the last pitch to the top which wasn’t a pushover either, but topped out on the summit with the night lights of Senjahoppen below us looking like an idyllic winter wonderland.
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