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Storpillaren*** E5 6a

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[Storpillaren, Great Pillar, of Vågakallen, 2 kb]600m, 17 pitches. The Great Pillar) A Lofoten classic - long remote and serious, though less so an all counts, than the routes to the left. The route received it long overdue first free ascent in 2001, though it is still normally done with some aid where needed. Start on the grassy shoulder under the right-hand side of the pillar at a conspicuous groove. 1) 5, 45m. Climb up the corner/groove, then up a slab to a belay on the right side of a huge block. 2) 6-, 30m. Move left and down, traversing back up until you reach a stance at the right-hand edge of a ledge at the base of left-facing groove. 3) 7-, 40m. Move left into the base of the groove (old stance in the base of the chimney on the left). The groove is hard to start then good climbing leads to the top of the corner. Climb the left-hand of two cracks up to a narrow ledge (possible stance). Continue up a short hard groove and the continuation crack system (some loose rock) to the ledge of Storhylla. 4) 7, 40m. Climb the tough diagonal jamming crack into the big groove and continue up a chimney to a tiny ledge. The main corner - the original line - can be climbed at 6-/A1. 5) 6, 20m. Start up a wide crack to a ledge, then climb the prominent, left-facing corner to a sloping ledge. 6) 7-, 35m. Climb the big chimney, then move up a narrow right-trending ramp to a good belay ledge. 7) 6+, 20m. The sustained left-facing corner leads out under a under a roof, then up to a stance in a niche. 8) 6-, 40m. Continue up the steep face left of the stance - tricky to protect and to find the easiest line. 9) 5, 55m. Head straight up the face, following the easiest line, then follow an easier groove back to the right to a stance. 10) 5, 50m. Move right into a crack which is just to the left of the a large groove. Continue up broken ground (poor protection) then traverse right for 30m to a stance. 11) 4, 45m. Climb up and right to the groove/gully. At its top, move left around an arete onto the left side of the ridge and climb the face up and to the right to a huge flat ledge. 12) 4, 50m. An easy pitch (BIG loose blocks) up the right side of the ridge leads to a ledge 15m below the top of the ridge. Climb up and left to gain the ridge crest. 13) 3, 40m. Follow the ridge up then down, to a fixed belay. 14) 30m. Abseil then down climb another 20m to reach a gap and bolt belays. 15) 6-, 35m. Climb cracks to a tiny ledge (old peg) then move left onto a blank slab (poor nuts). Now friction right and layback an arete (bold) to a ledge with many loose blocks. 16) 5, 45m. Climb around the left side of a pinnacle onto steep grass with loose blocks - from here up is the only way out. Make a hard move at the end onto the flat ridge above, and relief! 15 and 16 alternative) 5. The final two pitches can be avoided by abseiling 20m down to the right and doing two pitches of 'mungy' grade 5 to reach the crest. This is less good than the normal route, but at least it is a fair bit easier. © ROCKFAX
The easiest major route on the fantastic north-facing pillar of Vågakallen. Nevertheless it is a big route, with an exposed approach, a serious section at the top, and a complicated decent. The first ten pitches are very nice, on solid rock, after that the rock-quality, the difficulty, and the quality of the route lessens. The last two pitches are serious and should not be done if wet. This route has almost no fixed protection so rapping off is not possible without leaving gear The route finding is easy on the climb but not on the decent. It is a good idea to get a more precise description of the "hike" down than the one offered by the guidebook.

Photo: Storpillaren, Great Pillar, of Vågakallen © Jonas Wiklund
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PUBLIC LOGBOOKS
This climb is in 2 logbooks, and on 3 wishlists.

Hidden - AltLd dog - 07/Aug/12

Scary approach, nice climbing, rotten rock on the last pitch, difficult and exposed descent. A full day for us.
Jonas Wiklund - AltLd dog - Jul/08 with Joakim Söderström

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
Timothy Miller, Hidden, andymoin

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