Troll Wall in Winter for Andy Kirkpatrick

© Aleksander Gamme
Andy Kirkpatrick, Aleksander Gamme and Tormod Granheim have made what is thought to be the first winter ascent, and fourth ascent overall of the 18 pitch route Suser Gjennom Harryland (A3 6 650m) on Troll Wall, Norway.

photo
Aleksander Gamme, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Tormod Granheim
© Aleksander Gamme

We spoke to Andy a couple of days ago when he was still on the wall, just after topping out, but waiting for better weather before descending (nb. The team are now down and safe).

photo
Andy Kirkpatrick leading on the Troll Wall 2013
© Aleksander Gamme

Andy told UKC:

"We're still on the wall as it's too cold and windy to descend. I can't believe no one has frostbite as it's been close to -20 for two weeks.

We climbed Suser Gjennom Harryland. The trip was a warm up for a trip to the Eiger in February to attempt the Russian route (A5).

I'd soloed 17 pitches of this route on the Troll Wall back in 2011, so knew the route very well. This time I climbed it with two non-climbers (their first big wall!) - Aleksander Gamme and Tormod Granheim (Aleksander was the Norwegian guy featured in "Across the Ice" film that won at Kendal, and Tor was the first person to ski the NF of Everest).

I've never climbed with either of them (Aleks only climbs indoors), but got a good feeling that they would work out (I led all the pitches). The conditions were super cold but mostly dry, and the climbing fun but always with varying degrees of danger due to loose rock (some pitches are very dangerous).

Main problems came from iced up rock higher on the route, requiring chipping away the ice to hook. Route finishes on the shoulder and you rap the route (so it's sort of a sport big wall). Other problems where decomposing bolts, sleeping bags full of ice, a stove that broke early on and having to free climb in such low temperatures in Sportiva Olympus Mons boots. We've been on the mountain for thirteen days and we're already talking about coming back to climb the Arch Wall next winter."

Well done on the ascent guys!

  • Read more about Andy's exploits by following him on Facebook.
  • Thanks go to Aleksander Gamme for the photos - check him out on: Gamme.no

Photos: Suser Gjennom Harryland (A3 6 650m)

photo
Andy Kirkpatrick leading on the Troll Wall 2013
© Aleksander Gamme
photo
Andy Kirkpatrick leading on the Troll Wall 2013
© Aleksander Gamme
photo
Andy Kirkpatrick leading on the Troll Wall 2013
© Aleksander Gamme
photo
Andy Kirkpatrick leading on the Troll Wall 2013
© Aleksander Gamme

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31 Jan, 2013
Andy K: freezing off extremities other climbers can't reach. Top effort!
31 Jan, 2013
Presuming this is not a <groan> troll then top effort from Andy + team! :-)
31 Jan, 2013
Absolutely fantastic! Sounds harrowing, looking forward to reading more about this.
31 Jan, 2013
What a maniac. Top man.
31 Jan, 2013
Yes, a fantastic effort ... and you surely have to be a maniac to be climbing at those subzero temperatures in such a grim, forbidding place. ... I was fascinated to see, really obvious, in the middle of the fourth of Andy's great pix, the 'cairned terrace' off the Fiva Route... All a teensy bit foreshortened :))
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