/ The Lofoten Rockfax

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Has anyone else got theirs yet? Got mine yesterday when I got home from work had read 90% by 12.30 am. I will write a longer review at some point but I think I could start by saying this is I reckon the best guidebook that I have ever seen. I used to think the Rockfax style was too busy and distracting for me, but this is a total masterpiece - big up to Chris and Thorbjørn and the rest of the Rockfax crew in the UK and the support Norwegian writers.

My only regret is that next time I go everyone will be there.

What do other Lofoten fans think?
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

> What do other Lofoten fans think?

Shockingly Rockfax haven't sent me a free copy ;-) However, judging from the sample pages it looks very good.

Anyway, let's focus on the important issues: did we get that FA credit or not? if so, are our names spelt right? and is the credit qualified with 'but probably done years before by Thor Trollsblud (*)'


* insert more plausibly norse name here
davidbeynon - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA: This Lofoten fan

thinks he will get it next time he goes to Lofoten, but it won't be this year so there is no rush.
In reply to davidbeynon: If you can't go this year, don't buy it because it will just make you sad wanting to go!

Toby fk - yep we're both credit with the FA. You first of course, I was just seconding to glory. One of the other things that on a very personal and selfish note I loved is that I'm now an E3 leader! How cool is that? In the top 50 routes they give UK grades, and the Swedish Corner is given E3 5c. I so rock! I'm off to update my profile to my new found level of worked-grade competence...
Nj - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA: I got mine too. It is great. Loads and loads of cool photos, even one of me girlfriend so I get big brownie points!! Good text, clear and a good read as well.

Only spotted one minor mistake (the topo for Eggum is a tiny bit wrong).

All in all a cracking guidebook.
In reply to Nj:
> (In reply to TobyA) I got mine too. It is great. Loads and loads of cool photos, even one of me girlfriend so I get big brownie points!! Good text, clear and a good read as well.

Is she the hard-cranking-woolly-hatted-blond on the Eggum pages?

I got a phone call from my mates up there two nights ago, Tony was bursting to tell me he had done his first ever 7a at Eggum. I wasn't sufficiently impressed with this and asked "have you done Vestpillaren?"
"Oh yeah... a couple days back"
"So what did you think? Brilliant eh?"
"yeah it was great..."
"So how did it go?!"
"oh you know, fine."
"Just 'fine'!?"
"well I s'pose we were a bit slow..."
"How slow is slow?"
"ummm... errrr... a bit over, like, 12 hours..."

I couldn't of course not point out that Toby and I did it in I think 8, they managed to do a half pitch variation and needed to make a tension traverse! I can't remember anywhere on the route where the old description "follow the 'effin obvious line" wouldn't have applied, but they still got lost. Simon, my other mate, then came on the line to tell me "trad climbing, is soooo last week!" I guess they should stick to following the bolts! :-)
Nj - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA: She's the one on Presten, page 134 if I remember rightly.

12 hours on VP, good effort! I bet they were thirsty!

We'll be there this summer for some fun in the sun... can't wait.
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:
> In the top 50 routes they give UK grades, and the Swedish Corner is given E3 5c. I so rock! I'm off to update my profile to my new found level of worked-grade competence...

I am not going to comment ...
In reply to tobyfk:

> I am not going to comment ...

I think you did, "E1 5c at push" it may well have been. :-)
tobyfk - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

From what I remember it's not a terribly sustained route. At E3 5c you'd expect some tougher/ longer stuff above the crux? But who am I to argue with the great Mr Craggs ...
Michael Ryan - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to tobyfk:

Chris and Alan may reply later, from Lofoten!
In reply to Mick Ryan - UKClimbing.com:

> Chris and Alan may reply later, from Lofoten!

Alan somehow keeps up a very good image of not trad climbing, I take it this is completely unfair and that actually he's a complete knarl-meister? Perhaps I've just seen too many photos of him back in the day in hideous lyrca... :-)

Anyway it will good to hear what they've been up to.

Michael Ryan - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

He's better at trad than he is at sport and he has that annoying ability to climb hard after months hunkered down in the Rockfax bunker.
HeMa on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

Yeah, the topo seemed really nice... especially when I compared it to my copies of a copy of Websters guide...

That said, can't really comment on it actually as I'm going to pop my Lofoten cherry this July/August...

Oh TobyA, you going to the Kustavi meet? There should be some fun climbing... even for punters like you and me...
Flicka - on 12 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

I covet this guide but will wait until I make a plan to go. Maybe next year?! Don't want to get it too soon or I will spend my time lusting after the place which would just be depressing!
lex - on 13 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA:

I agree. Excellent guide, and that from some-one who has steered clear of Rockfax guides in the past.

its just a co-incidence that my first new routes are in there, mind. Good write up of the route descriptions too.

Wouldn't worry about the busyness - I guess Gandalf, Blueberries and Vestpillaren may get busy but, as ever, all it takes is a short walk to have crags / mountains to yourself.

Lex
a lakeland climber on 13 Jun 2008
In reply to all:

What is the current rough cost of a trip to Lofoten? Note I haven't seen the guide so don't know if it is mentioned in there.

ALC
Daniel Armitage - on 13 Jun 2008
In reply to tobyfk: I lead it onsight, thought E2 5c was about right. But I'm always happy when routes I have done get up graded!!!
Mattyk - on 13 Jun 2008
In reply to TobyA: well i think its ace. great photos. i thought i'd never need to go back but i do need to go again having seen the guidebook. Will be leaving it a few years though and hopefully it may quieten down again after the initial rush of excited punters.
Daniel Armitage - on 13 Jun 2008
In reply to Mattyk: Most first time visitors to Lofoten must count as excited punters! I know i was.....
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks for the kind words, we worked with Thorbjørn, Arild and Odd-Roar to produce the kind of guide the local wanted. We were determined to put the old chestnut to bed about "you can do topo guides to multi-pitch routes" and I think we succeeded.
Alan may reply later but (if my calculations are right) he and Mark Glaister are toping out on Vestpillaren at this very minute. They haven't beaten mine and Colin's 4 hrs 40 minutes but in fairness they have been held up a bit!
I have warned the locals that the place is going to get busy!

Chris
In reply to Chris Craggs: Have you bumped into my friends Simon and Tony - and Englishman and an Aussie in Finnish car? They're heading home this weekend but have had two cracking weeks from the sound of it.

Very jealous of Mark and Alan!
In reply to TobyA:

Don't think we have met them, hardly seen another climber, and the weather has been great!

Grand evening at the Climbing Cafe, (guide launch) Alan and Mark were on the top of Presten at 6:30 and made it to the cafe by 7:55!

BTW, the definitive UK grade of Vestpillaren is E2 5b according to the guys!


Chri
Neil Foster - on 14 Jun 2008
In reply to Chris Craggs:

That's all well and good Chris, but back to more important things.

Now, about these bloody puffins.....

Anyone got more than 16 yet?

Neil
In reply to Neil Foster:

We have decided that one of them is "impossible" so will give it away - trouble is I can't remember which page its on - helpful eh!


Chris
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Urdstabben - the place we are going climbing today. The side with Urisse on. The puffin is in the shade of one of the boulders in the bottom centre left.

ALan
Neil Foster - on 14 Jun 2008
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

That is one very shy puffin....
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Oh aye, page 265, 1.5 cm up and right from the Number 10 on the topo.

Hope that wasn't one that Neil had already found!


Chris
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> BTW, the definitive UK grade of Vestpillaren is E2 5b according to the guys!

How can a route that is longer, more sustained and better than anything in the UK be "definitive UK grade" anything!? But I won't argue as you have made me an E3 leader and therefore I will support all grade suggestions you ever make! ;-)

I was very pleased to see that I have done a good number of the top 50 in the grades I can climb. A few that I have missed out though so need to go back and clean up! Reading through the guide I also realised that I did "By the Dashboard Light" in 97 on my first trip, it just didn't get described in the old book.

In reply to TobyA:

I just added the grade comment about Vestpillaren as lots has already been made of it already.

I suspect you are right that the Swedish Groove is over-graded, enjoy it before we down-grade it again! The whole Paradise chapter was awkward to do because of the past habit of only describing the odd route, but the local are (generally) happy with the way we have handled it.

The Top 50 was tricky but thought it worth the effort. We did Pizza Thief the other day and that is mis-described in the guide, despite our best efforts and consulting the folks who did the first ascent and the frst free ascent! We will put a PDF out soon.

Chris

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