Mina Leslie-Wujastyk has redpointed Nordic Plumber (8c) 8c at the Flatanger (Hanshelleren) Cave, in Norway. This is Mina's third route of the grade.
Mina's trip to Flatanger came about in a spontaneous change of plan as she was originally due to go bouldering in Norway. She told UKC:
'I was supposed to be on a bouldering trip with David [Mason]! We were planning to boulder with some friends Martin and Maria from Trondheim but when I found out how close Flatanger was I asked Maria if she fancied a few days there before bouldering.'
After 5 days in the cave, Mina was totally hooked on the place and had started trying Nordic Flower to the 8b+ finish. She ticked it relatively quickly and decided to take a look at Nordic Plumber, expecting to keep it as a project for a return trip. She explained:
'Due to rain and Flatanger being so amazing we ended up spending more time there (actually all the time there for me - sorry David) and I finished off Nordic Flower fairly quickly. I spent a couple of days trying other stuff and then decided to check out the Plumber for next year...classic situation of "I'll just go see what the moves are like...". To cut a long story short, I got psyched.'
Mina managed some good redpoint attempts before leaving to come back to the UK for a wedding. Before departing, however, she booked a flight back for an extra week or so. She told UKC:
'I did a four day round trip to the UK (with a good dose of wedding prosecco) before coming back to give it some beans. I didn't know then that I was in for a mental battle - the route has a redpoint crux in the last few metres which consists of a slopey rail....I fell off it from the ground 4 times! Yesterday conditions were much better and I was able to dig deep and get through.'
Commenting on the route itself, Mina added:
"It's an incredible line, around 50m in length - so it felt like quite an adventure! Amazing 3D roof climbing with tons of interesting and varied moves. I've never tried anything like it!"
Mina's ascent is all the more impressive following her head injury that she incurred at Malham Cove in August last year while working her long-term project, Rainshadow 9a. She adds Nordic Plumber and Nordic Flower to a long list of hard sport ascents, including Mecca Extension 8c at Raven Tor, Bat Route at Malham Cove and the Australian classic Punks in the Gym 8b+ at Arapiles.
Well done, Mina.
Flatanger certainly looks like a world-class fishing spot, I see the climbing is good for rest days too.
Good on you, Mina!
But having read your impressive blog about your head injury, harnesses und helmets - what made you change your resolution, why are you helmetless in the lower-off shot? Just curious!
I don't know for sure but it's probably because angle at Flatanger is considerably steeper than Malham ie. you're only gonna be in the air if you fell off.
Did we read the same article?
" As I manage my return to sport climbing, a helmet will be part of that process. Will I always wear one sport climbing? I don't know yet, that is a personal decision that will take time to form for me. On physically harder routes a helmet can get in the way a bit and where the risk is managed and small, perhaps it will feel okay not to. I know people have strong views on this kind of thing but I would like to ask you to respect my current and future decisions on this. Part of the reason I didn't specify my injuries when I first posted about the accident on social media was that I felt too vulnerable to deal with the inevitable recrimination from some people in the wider community about the use of helmets."
Shame on me, must have been reading too fast - thanks for that!