/ NEWS: VIDEO: MacLeod Frees 400m E8 in Norway

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UKC News - on 30 Aug 2011
Dave MacLeod Blamman, Norway, 4 kbWin a holiday with Dave MacLeod and what do you get?

No sunbathing for these guys, instead they fight their way up a 400m granite wall with a crux pitch of E8.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=63849

creag - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Wow! When the camera pans out and you get the scale... what an amazing wall!!
Kemics - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Consistently the most impressive, motivating and entertaining climber. Great stuff
In reply to UKC News: Looks great! Well done to the team for adding another free ascent to the wall.

BTW, the wall is named in the guidebook as "Blåmannen", although sometimes Norwegians seem to also call it "Blåmann". Not sure why - perhaps a Norwegian speaker could explain, is it the genitive perhaps? But, anyway, it definitely isn't "Blamman". "å" isn't just an "a" with a squiggle over it, it is a different letter - in Finnish it is called "Swedish o" and it sounds like "oh". I find Norwegian a nightmare to pronounce properly (my climbing partner when I was last on Kvaløya gave up trying to get me to say the island's name properly!), but if you can't find å on your keyboard - it will be there somewhere - I suspect Blomann is closer to the mountains name in Norwegian.

Kvaløya is a magic place that should be better known, but if you go respect it! http://www.slouppi.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4277
Dave Garnett - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to TobyA:

I think it's somewhere between 'oh' and 'or'. For instance, Pål is a common Norwegian name which seems to be pronounced pretty much like Paul.

DJonsight - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News: Dave Mac really is leading the way in climbing standards.

I mean, runing a competition to find two chicks to go climbing with - that's the way forward!

hillman - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:
The name in Norwegian is "Blåmann", meaning the "blue man". With definite article it is "Blåmannen", meaning "the blue man". As mentioned here the letter å is pronouned like the au in Paul.
Fraser on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:

That's immense, in both senses of the word!
GuyVG - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News: I've been watching this trip on his blog. Nice one Dave, really impressive/inspiring ascent. Norway looks like the place to be
nmwr - on 30 Aug 2011
Norwegians have very strong dialects, so even if you pronounce it right for a particular region, someone in another region will misunderstand you anyway. Well, that was my excuse for not learning anything!
James Oswald - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Nice on Dave.
It couldn't have been done or filmed by any nicer guys.
NextOliver - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to TobyA: One way to write it properly is to use a double 'a' for the Norw. 'å'. Back in the day, before there were typewriters with Norwegian characters, all printed text in Norwegian would have those double a's. So either Blåmann or Blaamann. Inspiring news all the same.
Jonas Wiklund - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News: There has been lots of activity on Store Blåmann this year. Three aid-routes have been freed (at 8a, 7c+ and 7b respectively), and one mostly new aid route has been put up. Great!

Also on Store Blåmann: Andreas Klarström, Erik Grandelius and Martin Skaar Olslund repeated "Arctandria" (8a+ R) in great style (2nd repeat/3rd free ascent over all). Andreas Klarström stayed in Tromsø this summer and worked the first two pitches (including the second crutch pitch which goes at 8a+ with bird-beaks and micro-nuts for pro) by himself.

Erik Grandelius and Martin Skaar Olslund flew in to Tromsø, touched down at 11 PM, got picked up by Andreas and then they went straight up to Båmann (40 min in car + 2 h approach) and free climbed the whole route in a single push through the night with Andreas leading the first two pitches. Erik Grandelius followed free (all onsight) and onsighted all his pitches (up to 8a according to topo, but they feel the roof pitch was much easier than the 8a given in topo, maybe 7c or so). I don't know exactly the style Martin climbed in (other than that he did it free, since I've only talked with Erik).
Jonas Wiklund - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News: Logbook page for Store Blåmann here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=11131
In reply to Jonas Wiklund: Great news Jonas! Onsight straight of the plane is pretty classy, although landing at Tromsø airport has to be one of the best landings in the world for a climber because of the view of the close cliffs to the west!
royal - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:
Dave is doing so much mind blowing stuff. That wall looks incredible. Great effort.
jon on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:

I'm not sure I understand the grades. The crux is E8. The pitches are given French(?) grades. The wall is in Norway. Is the route trad? Is the gear fixed? Help.
Jonas Wiklund - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to jon: Route is trad. A few fixed copperheads and pitons. All non-UK grading systems are isomorphically identical, so they can be translated to any other (non-UK) grading scale using a table. Norwegian 9- = French 8a, trad or sport doesn't matter.
henwardian - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News: That wall looks bloody amazing! I badly want there to be some amenably graded free routes on it too!
Gordon Stainforth - on 30 Aug 2011
In reply to henwardian:

Well, it looks quite amenable to me, and now I'm an old fart. Most of that clip looks like really good E1/2 5b/c climbing, wonderfully old-fashioned in style, i.e not overhanging and not relying on fantastic finger strength (huge layaways and jugs on every move in that clip), just good old-fashioned technique.
JLS on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I think what you are seeing is someone climbing four grades below their best with the benefit of some cleaning and inspection of the route. Yes, he does make it look easy because, for him, it probably is.

Must be a record for the biggest armchair downgrade though - E8 down to E1/E2. :-)
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Well, it looks quite amenable to me,

You'd be quite wrong then. So far I don't think any of the routes have that have been climbed free have been much below 8a. I'll check the guide book later. As aid routes I've heard they are reasonably OK, although if you do them in winter it obviously adds a challenge as you are something like 300 kms north of the Arctic circle.
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:
> All non-UK grading systems are isomorphically identical, so they can be translated to any other (non-UK) grading scale using a table.

That's deserving of a thread in its own right! :-) Of course any grade can be compared to another system grade, but it seems different areas develop nuances even within one system (in my limited experience: Kvaløya 5+ = Lofoten 6), so comparisons tend to be a bit fuzzy.

So the grade translations will be an art of expressing nuance, like translating poetry! I'm quite proud of that analogy :)


Dave Garnett - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to TobyA:

I had to look up 'isomorphic' in this context (since we don't seem to be talking about crystallography). 'Corresponding or similar in form and relations' according to my dictionary.

Still not sure what isomorphically identical would mean though. Consistently comparable for similar sorts of moves?

I agree with Gordon though, that the section in the clip has visible holds and gear placements. From which I conclude that it might not be the hard part!
HeMa on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Gordon Stainforth)
>
> [...]
>
> You'd be quite wrong then. So far I don't think any of the routes have that have been climbed free have been much below 8a.

I seem to recall the easiest being 7b or so...
In reply to HeMa: I think there is one moderate route up the right hand shoulder of the route (almost the ridge) - but you take my point! :-)
Robert Durran - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Dave Garnett:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> Still not sure what isomorphically identical would mean though. Consistently comparable for similar sorts of moves?

I assume he was just trying to say that all grading systems other than the UK adjectival system measure the same thing and that therefore a direct translation is possible. "Most" might have been more accurate than "all"; the US system, for instance, certainly does not measure the same thing as a French grade (except when used for sports routes).
Morgan Woods - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to UKC News:

Great vid and idea for a trip. Very nice to see a sponsor supporting a long term project as well. Does this mean Dave might be having a go at more Euro Alpine stuff more often in the future?

Also - has it been a dry scando summer this year? My only experience of that part of the world is from the joke where the American tourist arrives in northern Norway and asks the kid at the train station "how long has it been raining here?" with the kid replying "I don't know i'm only seven"

:p
In reply to Morgan Woods:

> Also - has it been a dry scando summer this year? My only experience of that part of the world is from the joke where the American tourist arrives in northern Norway and asks the kid at the train station "how long has it been raining here?" with the kid replying "I don't know i'm only seven"

Places like Bergen get vast amount of rain but they are much, much further south and also to the west. The Arctic weather is different. I've done 3 different week long trips to Lofoten in different years (and differing months) and never lost a climbing day to rain. Most times we've had rather good weather. I've been to Tromso region twice on summer trips - we've had rain both times at some points, but by climbing at the sea cliffs on Kvaløya rather than going up into the mountains, managed to climb each day. Ok; each day except one where we totally knackered after a 17 hour drive from home then climbing this: http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=51061 straight out of the car - so were quite happy for it to rain and spend the day at the Arctic museum in Tromsø.
Michael Gordon - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Gordon Stainforth: Well, the pitch grades are 7b+, 7b+, 8a, 7c, 7b, 6c, 7a, 6b. So there might be 1 pitch of E2ish climbing!
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Michael Gordon - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:
> (In reply to UKC News) second crutch pitch

Sounds nasty!
jon on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:
> (In reply to jon) All non-UK grading systems are isomorphically identical,

I take it English isn't your first language... even Dave had to look it up!

Jonas Wiklund - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Jonas Wiklund)
> I take it English isn't your first language... even Dave had to look it up!

Mathematics is my first language.

franksnb - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Jonas Wiklund: like it
jon on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to Jonas Wiklund:

Excellent!
Brendan - on 31 Aug 2011
In reply to TobyA:
There's a good bit on Steve McClure's blog about his trip to Norway this summer. Sounds like it was really wet but they found some sports cliffs that are perma-dry, so there are options even if the weather is bad.
Morgan Woods - on 01 Sep 2011
In reply to TobyA:

cool...looks ace!
In reply to Brendan:

> There's a good bit on Steve McClure's blog about his trip to Norway this summer. Sounds like it was really wet but they found some sports cliffs that are perma-dry, so there are options even if the weather is bad.

I think though where Steve went was down south. A bit like basing your views of the weather in Torridon on how it is in Cheddar or Swanage!
Brendan - on 20 Sep 2011
In reply to TobyA: Haha, ok, my Norwegian georgraphy is obviously not too hot.
That Flatanger cave looks like it will stay dry though.

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