It’s been a while since the last update here, but here are are a few pictures from summer climbing in Austria and Slovenia. We climbed the south face of Dachstein via ‘Top Secret’ TD, 6, 550m and the fine Triglav North face via the Slovenian route.
The summer of 2019
The summer of 2019 is almost over. It has been a nice summer with skiing on the Fonna glaicer in Norway, climbing on Kullen and Bornholm with great people and making new friends, Starting SUP Surf in Denmark and travel with the family in Jylland and Sverige. A great summer with many good memories for the dark time ahead 🙂
Local Ice Update
The frost has been here for a while and on Wednesday we decided to head across the water on a day trip to Sweden. We wanted to have a look at the ice conditions in Skåne. We went out to Hovs Hallar not far from Båstad. It’s only 1½ hours drive from Copenhagen, so it is probably the closest quality ice climbing we can find around here.
The message is that Hovs Haller is in condition and Hovsfossen can be climbed on lead at WI5. The Quarry in Båstad still looks at bit thin, but the left fall should be climbable at least on top rope.
Pizza and Cogne Ice
The original plan was to go to Chamonix for some skiing and perhaps some alpine climbing. I had arranged to hook up with French photographer Alexandre Buisse who used to live here in Copenhagen, from where have had several good trips for ice and rock climbing in Sweden. Alex had recently moved to Chamonix to start his photo business. It would be great to share some adventures with him again, but Alex had been having an epic with an unplanned bivouac on Les Courtes. This had given him some frostbitten toes (luckily not to serious) so he was out of the game.
I had almost given up on any trips when I got an offer from my old climbing friends to join them for a long weekend ice climbing in Cogne, Italy.
After a long drive Wednesday night we arrived in the picturesque town of Cogne on Thursday. Ice conditions where brilliant and the following three days we did all kind of routes. One of the highlights of the tour was the Lillaz Gully, that I did with Anders HP. The Liliaz Gully is a fun 200 meter long gully that can best be described as an Italian version of the classic Scotch ‘Point Five Gully’ with fun ice and mixed climbing.
Me battling the spindrift in Lillaz Gully (TD-,WI4,M4+, 200m) – Photo by Anders HP
Cogne is a fantastic place to climb ice in extremely pleasant surroundings with the mountain of Grand Paradiso close by. As the gallery shows I had a marvelous three days with good friends, good climbing and good Italian food!
Searching For Magic – Episode One
As a part of my recent trip to Fontainebleau I wanted to see if it is true that the forest is really a magical place. We all know that in order to discover magic you need to open your senses and take a slow considered approach. I thus decided to shoot analogue Black & White for two weeks. I came home with 5 rolls of exposed B/W Kodak TriX 400 and a two medium format colour rolls.
I am very relived to announce that there is a positive indication that magic is in fact to be found in the forest!
Please enjoy the first episode of ‘Searching for Magic’
Cima Grande, Via Comici (ED-,VII+, 6b+, 550m)
I had the pleasure of climbing in Italy during the first weekend of September. I had made arrangements with Paolo who I had met during the trad climb meeting in Valle Orco last year. Our original plan was to do the Cassin on Piz Badile, but the weather did not seem to agree with this plan so we switched our objective to the Dolomites.
The Comici route is one of the six classic north faces in the Alps and almost the symbol for climbing in the Dolomites. It was climbed first in 1933 by the extremely talented Italian climber Emilio Comici.
We found ourselves at the Rifugio Aurenzo on friday, but Some heavy downpour with thunder during the night quickly changed our plans since the Comici is north facing and it is well known that the chimneys are often wet for several days after rain. We quickly changed our objective to the ‘Spigolo Giallo’ or the ‘Yellow Edge’ – this is also a Comici route, but it is south facing and should dry quickly. We wanted have some sun on the wall, so we decided not to start to early. We left the rifugio at 7:45 and soon found ourselves at the start together with half the population of northern Italy. We did not really fancy queueing up for several hours, so we went back to our original plan and went to have a look at the north face where we started climbing at 9:20
The route is overhanging for the first part and is really sustained for the first 7 pitches. After this it eases off to vertical, but it is still quite demanding even if the technical grade is not so high.
Paolo leading the first grade VII crux.
We found the climbing very enjoyable and the rock is actually really good when you compare it to some of the choss that is often found the Dolomites. The protection is a mix of self placed gear and old pitons. It generally protects well. We managed to free climb most of the sustained first part, but we had to climb A0 and pull on the pegs in the soaked-up chimneys higher up. This was rather a dirty wet job that probably delayed us for 1-2 hours.
A look from the Comici into the neighbouring Hasse/Brandler which theese days are a free climbing test piece. You can try to spot the climbers in the photo!
A serious dose of exposure. This is actually one of the better belays on the face.
A look down the face we just climbed with only two easy pitches to go. We arrived at the spot after a very airy traverse, where we had to exit a wet cave. About nine hours after starting out we found ourselves at the ring band terrace, just below the summit. We wanted to go down immediately before dark, but we failed to find the descent and soon we where wandering around in the dark. The descent took longer than expected, but after a series of scary abseils we where back on terra firma.
Back on the ground at night after getting a good scare. A perfect day on a classic alpine north face.
The Gallery on flickr:
I have been climbing on Kullen in Sweden for more than 15 years. In other words it’s my local climbing crag, so I would like to think that I know the area pretty well. I went out to Kullen on Saturday with my friend Anders Vedersøe to do some trad climbing. It was the first time for me in a while climbing with a rope since I have been busy with my newborn daughter. I have only had time for bouldering and a bit of training at the climbing wall. It was very cool to be back on Kullen to discover the area of Vattenhjulet.
It’s incredible that after so many years of visiting Kullen, it’s still possible to discover new quality stuff. It was my first visit to this sector. It’s not a hugely popular area since it has a rather awkward abseil access, but I got very pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere, but also with the quality of the routes.
What a nice day!
Hot and Cold
It’s been a while since I last had time to do some blogging, but I have have been busy traveling. In January I went a week to Tenerife with my family and some good friends. We went for general beach relaxation at El Medano, but also a bit of rock climbing. It was a super fun week! We climbed in the Arico gorge and a little bit at the Las Canadas plateau in the middle of the island. The plateau is located at 2200 meters so it was a rather chilly experience to climb here, but a little cold can’t distract from the fact that it is a marvellous setting with a view to the Teide volcano. In the Arico gorge it was warm and pleasant during the day.
I had fun shooting some pictures on a regular old fashioned SLR film camera. The film is the new Kodak Ektar 100 – I am quite pleased with the results so I hope you enjoy the pictures.
The year has come to an end and it’s time to list the climbing highlights of 2010. My memory is off-course dominated by my 7 week summer road in the VW California. I’m listing my hardest ticks in each discipline, but please remember that climbing is far more than hard grades. My biggest and dearest memories from 2010 comes from just being on a long climbing road trip. I really enjoy the travelling lifestyle, climbing with old friends and making new friends during the trip. 2010 has been a good climbing year that has fuelled a lot of ambitions for the coming year.
Trad Multi Pitch / Alpine
Itaca nel Sole/ Rattle Snake, Valle Orco – 220 meter (ED, 6c) with Paoli Zanoli
Oceano Irrazionale, Val di Mello – 480 meter (VII) with Anders H. Pedersen in a day
Voie Rebuffat. Aig. du Midi South face, Chamonix – 200 meter (TD+, 6a+) with Morten Johansen
Me climbing the roof section on Rebuffat. Photo by Morten Johansen
Belay on Rebuffat – Photo by Morten Johansen
Trad Single Pitch
Hollywood, Göteborg (7-)
Yosemite, Kullen (7-)
Stepper, Göteborg (6+)
Kong Hellig Hans, Bornholm (7a+, FA)
Monica Tesoro, Valle Orco (7a+)
Doigts de Fee pour coeour de lion, Chamonix (7a)
First Ascent of four 25 meter ice-falls (Grade III-V) in Ekkodalen on Bornholm, Denmark.
On a Bornhom first ascent in Jan 2010. Photo by Kim Sørensen
Not much bouldering this year, but I have done some fine problems up to 6B/6C in France, Italy and in Sweden. I like to think of Bouldering mainly as a fun rest day activity.
On Sunday we went climbing in Göteborg, Sweden. Together with Anders, Anders & Michael we left Lyngby at 6:30 in the morning. It was still dark, but when we got to the ferry in Helsingør the sun was starting to show.
Sunrise in Helsingør
A couple of hours later we where at Fjällbo just outside the centre of Göteborg. It was still cold and the temperature was just above freezing, but once the sun got on the rock it was warm enough to go climbing. We had a grand day doing many good routes. Utby/Fjällbo is a fantastic place to climb with quality trad routes all over the place.
Anders Vedersø leading Caligula (6-)
HP following my lead on Slowfox. We did a rather hard grade 6 variation in the top.
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