/ Trip report: Stetind and the Narvik region, August 2013

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A few weeks back I got the chance to go back up to the Narvik region of Arctic Norway to do some climbing. I had been there 10 years ago, but with very limited info available, particularly in English, at the time we only did a few things on the mainland before heading over on the ferry to the better documented Lofoten Isles.

A couple of years back, Mickael af Ekenstam and Topptur published "Stetind and Narvik: Dancing on the Devil's Dancefloor" http://www.cordee.co.uk/Stetind-Andamp%3B-Narvik%3A-Dancing-on-the-Devil%27s-Dancefloor-det-15-95-95... and suddenly there was plenty of info available. The book still has many adventures in it - (15 pitch E1 or E2s described in just a sentence and one photo!), but the now real classics like the South Pillar of Stetind are well described. Buying the book involves some sticker shock (best done with a credit card and currency you haven't quite worked out the value of yet!), but the week we had using it made it very much worth it.

I've written quite a long report with many photos, so rather than just copy and paste it here, it's all on my blog at: http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2013/09/rock-climbing-in-arctic-norway-narvik.html Any questions just ask.

The Stetind miniguide is free at http://www.rockfax.com/climbing-guides/miniguides/stetind-south-pillar/ although ours fell out of Dave's pocket before we actually started climbing, so I can't personally attest to whether is better or not than Topptur description.
Alex the Alex - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Inspirational, I am dying to get out there! That was a good read, cheers Toby.
In reply to Alex the Alex: Getting there is always going to be a hassle, particularly from the UK, Alex but in seven days we spent €38 on ferries and bought a couples of cups of coffee, some bread and one litre of milk. The rest of our food and drinks we brought from Finland where prices are more European mainstream. Being Norway you can camp pretty much anywhere that isn't someones garden, so there were no accommodation costs. Basically I spent less than I would had I spent the week at home, so it can be a cheap holiday!
AG - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA: went there ski touring 6 years ago...nice area. Not too hard to get to from Scotland. ..flight to oslo then one to narvik. Ended up in bjorkliden for a week after a week in huts. Love to return one day!.
In reply to AG: Were you "ski touring" or "ski mountaineering" if you see what I mean? Mainly through the valleys, or up to the summits? Some of the peaks must make mega ski ascents I imagine. We were chatting to guide from Senja when we were up there, and I feel Senja may well be going on the winter trip agenda!
In reply to TobyA: I've now done a follow up post "Climbing Stetind’s Sydpilaren (South Pillar): a punter’s guide"
http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.fi/2013/09/stetinds-sydpilaren-south-pillar.html Alternative title: Everything you wanted to know about doing Stetind's South Pillar but were afraid to ask.

Do you want to climb an internationally iconic route and mountain in the Norwegian Arctic but are aware that you're not really that great a climber? Never fear! All the beta and tips from a fellow not-really-that-great-a-climber are here in one handy package to help your dreams become reality! Have fun.

Dave - on 08 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Thanks Toby, good to have a record of such a great trip. Next year ?

Been thinking... outside of Lofoten, Narvik, Kvalöya, Romsdal in Norway, Bregaglia and Grimsel in Switzerland and Chamonix, all of which I've climbed in, where do you go to climb long, high quality granite routes in Europe ? Whats next on the trip list ?!
HeMa on 09 Sep 2013
In reply to Dave:

Salbit and Furka (next to Grimsel).

Also pretty much all of Bregalia (Val di Mello, Val Masino, Badile and Albigna).

I also seem to recall Ortler being granite.

Pressanella, near Stelvio pass is also granite (a new route up there, some info can be found from Planetmountain).
Dave - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to HeMa:

Hmm, Salbit and Furka's a good idea. Many years ago I was completely inspired by photos of one of the Remy brothers on the 'Supercrack' pitch on Conquest on the Graue Wand in Schweiz Extrem but felt it was beyond me - its given 7a. I suspect over the intervening 20 years its gone to being within my powers to beyond them again. There again its supposed to easier for experienced granite crack climbers, and it does have bolts and you could stuff it with gear. Toby?

AG - on 11 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to AG) Were you "ski touring" or "ski mountaineering" if you see what I mean? Mainly through the valleys, or up to the summits?
Plan was to do both but due to the weather we just did valley tours to the huts. We managed a few days around bjorkliden doing some cairngorm type summits!
In reply to AG:
> We managed a few days around bjorkliden doing some cairngorm type summits!

Just googled it and realise we drove right past there. I guess you can follow the valley that the railway follows from there down to Narvik?

AG - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to TobyA: We took the train to katerat and then skied in from there. Plan was to do a few mountains from this hut http://narvik.turistforeningen.no/cabin.php?ca_id=323&fo_id=5665 but the weather was very stormy and snowy. Great experience all the same.

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