Purner and Leichtfried approaching Sordalen’s ice. [Photo] Hannes Mair
From February 28-March 6 the Norsk Tindeklub hosted a winter climbing festival on Norway’s Lofoten Islands. The event offered climbers a chance to discover new routes, or to climb existing routes without the benefit of descriptions. Erratic weather that ranged from -20C with 80km/h winds to temps well above 0C encouraged climbers Albert Leichtfried and Benedikt Purner to tackle some of Norway’s beautiful ice lines.
Leichtfried on Remember Mi (Wi7- M8), a climb they named for their friend Michael Uhrmann who was killed while paragliding in December 2010. [Photo] Hannes Mair
Before making their way to the islands, the pair set their eyes on the valleys of the mainland. In Sordalen they established two new climbs: Stalker (WI6 M7, 700m) and Remember Mi (WI7-M8, 200m). Stalker is a variation of Skredbekken, a classic of the area. The final 300m of this climb were independent, and made for steep mixed and ice climbing. The other route Remember Mi follows a series of drips up a dark rock face. Although the first half of the route certainly appeared to be the most difficult, Norwegian custom does dictate that a route has not been completed until topped out.”
On this point Leichtfried disagrees saying that the route only follows the drip to its end, which clearly defines this line.
Purner on Flaagbekken (WI5, 200m). (Alpinist.com apologizes for our inability to properly render letters such as Aa or Oe. -Ed) [Photo] Hannes Mair
According to Leichtfried, the two routes, which were climbed cleanly, “count as absolute highlights of our ice climbing careers.” After several days of climbing on the mainland, they journeyed to Lofoten, where foul weather, pleasurable climbing and even better company continued to define the trip.
Make sure to check out Leichtfried’s piece on ice climbing in Lyngenfjord in Alpinist 34.
An overview of the variation “Stalker (700m WI6/M7)” as climbed by Albert Leichtfried and Bennedikt Purner, the upper 300m of Stalker form an alternate finish to the route Skredbekken (WI5). [Photo] Frederic Maltais