Big (wall) news from Norway

© Chris Craggs
Troll Wall Topo  © Chris Craggs
Troll Wall Topo
© Chris Craggs

Sindre Sæther  © Sindre Sæther
Sindre Sæther
© Sindre Sæther
Sindre Sæther has made the first free ascent of Arch Wall on the Trollveggen wall, Norway, quite possibly the most impressive summer ascent in the Norwegian mountains ever.

Arch Wall takes one of the tallest and least featured parts of the Troll wall and, at the time of the FA (Hugh Drummond, Ed Ward-Drummond 1972), it was the most difficult big wall route in the world with pitches up to A4+. This also says a lot about the possibilities to place gear - seriously bad. There are a number of really difficult multi-pitch routes in Norway, but this one is different. Where the other routes typically follows distinct granite lines, this is not the case here, making the climbing a significantly more serious undertaking, featuring run-outs of 15m where you have to rely on "birdbeaks", tiny hooks placed in thin seams.

Arch Wall was one of the last great lines, but was viewed by most as an almost utopian project to climb free, being really tall, almost always wet, loose with bad pro and few holds...

If anyone could do it however, it was Sindre Sæther, a strong climber with a strong head who has redpointed 8c+ and onsighted 8b, as well as having done several serious multi-pitches on the Troll wall.

Source: Drammensgranitt (Norwegian)

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4 Aug, 2010
Quite impressive, especially what with him having a foot instead of a left hand...
Well spotted! I had to look twice! D.
4 Aug, 2010
There is an account of Drummond's ascent of Arch Wall in Mirrors in the Cliffs or posssibly Games Climbers Play. I like it that he drops a load of gear and hopes his brother suggests they bail - but he doesn't.
4 Aug, 2010
4 Aug, 2010
Simon, it's Games, the first story in, I seem to remember. Dickie Swinden brought it to Wilson's attention. The rest, as they say, is history. As far as I know, Hugh Drummond was no relation to the (then) Ed Ward-Drummond. Mirror Mirror is the best exploration of obsession that I've ever read. Clearly Ed Drummond was prepared to sacrifice well-nigh everything on the altar of his desire. Mick
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