Mar 25, 2015

Lunndörren 2015 4 days, 3 climbs and 2 new routes

Lunndörren - Jamtland

One of the most alpine areas in Sweden. And the most wether one, prepare for some rough conditions on this one!
After talking to a friend and trying to get some updates I had learned that the climbing conditions was good but the lack of snow made the 12km approach unpossible on skis. Reason;  no snow!
Which means that we would need to carry everything instead of using a ”pulka”.
Lunndörren is known for its long alpine ice climbs, the potential of new routes and its hard weather. All ingredients for a great climbing area.

We took off from Östersund, which you get to by train or with a 50min SAS flight from Stockholm. And from Östersund its a 250km drive south west to the small village of Tossåsen. 
Our pack was filled to maximum for a 4 day trip and wise by experience I used as small bag as possible which in this case meant 60l grivel haul bag, perfect for this little trip. Martin showed up with a 90l giant thing which also was filled to its max…luckily he is a strong man.

Normally this time of year, March in Jemtland, means cold weather and big amount of snow. But since this winter has been everything than normal we only found the opposite. Almost no snow, only almost. By experience I had at least brought a pair of snow shoes and Martin a pair of skis, otherwise the trip would have ended very soon. Walking by foot wouldn't have been an option. But still it was a struggle on my snow shoes and I was more then jealous on Martin who was cruising on his skis. But, he had a heavier back pack so I guess it was equal and fair.

Martin on "Arete Jonsson"

The 12km approach is actually quite nice. The walk starts almost at the road end and goes trough the nice alpine landscape over viewing the surrounding mountains. And on this perfect day with neither clouds nor wind it was pure pleasure to move our way into the back country. 
Eagerto get some climbing done we we got to our Bacecamp for the next couple of days in 3 hours. A quick brew of coffee and we set of to try the first route. An interesting looking section of ice that finished up some steep looking rock. The day was already late but the approach from our BC was instead very quick and soon my axes was swinging into soft ice. A couple of hours later we could rappel and walk of after yet an other new route. Surrounded by dark, wind and snow. It was nice to have a short detour back to BC but even greater to been able to put in a climb.

Summit in late afternoon, time for a fresh java!

Next morning we was awaken by strong wind, which this area is more then famous for. But during our breakfast the wind settled down and we could set out in a perfect sunny day. Which meant that we headed for one of the classics, ”Twilling isen”. A 5 pitch route up solid and dynamic wall of ice. Very beautiful.


The approach is again very easy and after one hour we stood at the bace. And as we had seen on the pictures from people that had been here the week before the ice was there, just waiting. And wait no longer…after continuous swinging with our grivel tools we can summit an unusual non windy top, surrounded by a huge mountain area and a big yellow sun.

the Crux of "Twilling" steep solid ice...

The walk back down is everything then dramatic. But fresh in mind of a friend that took a 200meter slide down packed snow on his detour down the same col with out crampons and getting the front page in the local news paper. 

Getting a warm sunny day in this area need to get a pay back. And during the night the wind picked up, the stars disappeared behind clouds and snow and soon the sound of the more favoured weather dropped in. We had a storm!
After a long breakfast during which we talked about every option we had of killing this day we finally agreed about blasting out in the wind and just try to climb something. 
I had focused on a potential line of mixed rock, moss and ice on the right side of ”Gruv fjellet”. A possible new route with maybe 5-6 pitches which didn’t look to difficult, a perfect goal on a day like this.

As most of the routes here the approach turned out to be easy. A 20min walk, maybe helped by the strong tail winds!? The first pitches was, as suspected, quite easy. With only a couple of tricky moves over rock and moss which we climbed with running belays. At the bace of the ice section I place an ice screw and secure Martin up. And at the sam time the wind settles!
And we can climb the rest of the pitches in again, sunny weather. Which make me take the decision to scramble the last meters up to a bunch of stones on the ”summit” Isn’t actually a summit, more of a big open field. But at the time that Martin arrives the weather is back, changing like its possible to do only in the scandinavian mountains. 

And in the time over a couple of minutes it goes from no wind and sun to full on storm again. I am more keen on taking the chance on walking back down instead of a big number of rappels, thinking that walking will be faster. Still tied togheter we start to walk, away from the safe spot of the first possible rappel point… With a raging wind from the west the orientation is more or less impossible. I need to bring my compass and map out a couple of times but finding any known marks from the 100.000 scaled map is not happening. 

"Uhrweder" Martin has a go in the local weather

And I know from history that people have been forced to camp out because they have lost their way on this descent. And finally I just need to accept, we have reached the point of return. There is nothing else then trying to fint our way back. And in worst case I know I can down climb any of the couloirs but the hope is to find the big couloir in the middle section on the east side. We put the crampons on again and during the time I am waiting for Martin to finish I am sending my priers to my good of Mountains.

Great taste as ever, specially after a day in a storm

-”please give me 5 seconds of visibility, five seconds only” And YES, he does, YES we can! I get a point on the other side of  the valley that I recognise. I know where I am, we will have coffee back ”home” tonight!!

Detour en Tossåsen....

Lunndörren 2015
4 days, 3 climbs and 2 new routes
not. Uhrweder is Norwegian "very bad weather" but also the agent for Grivel in Sweden/Norway

// hellre en skrynklig själ än ett slätstruket liv!

Mar 8, 2015

3 Men Mooning - a climb

Sometimes its easy, the mountains are there. So is the weather and the conditions are perfect, just to go. The climb is easy accessed in front of you, the icicles is hanging there, on solid rock.
Its the yearly Arctic Ice climbing Festival in Abisko Sweden.
The hopeful words are easy to understand
-It would be great if we could have a new route climbed during the Festival! Take the snowmobile, it should work fine to be three people on it so you wont need a sledge. Climb it and if you cane back here at 16.00 for the competition.

Ok, we go, see you at four! Well sure!!

I had seen a couple of interesting lines from some pictures Anders had taken while doing heli skiing in an area between Abisko and Riksgränsen. Only problem was that the lines are pretty far away. And above that it was hard to get a proper view of the climbs just by the pics.
So nothing else to do then going for a chance. If it goes it goes, just the approach could be quite tricky, three people riding one Snowmobile might be one to much already.

Arriving ”Gränsen” the weather isn’t even close to … nice. Windy, cloudy and flat light, something that this area is famous for, the flat light, typical ”fjellvaeder". Flat light is where there is a thick layer of cloud in the sky, and the light bounces through the clouds so that it comes from all directions, creating no shadows on the snow.
A skiers nightmare as well as a snowmobilers.

the Route - "3 Men Mooning"

While unloading the snowmobile I try to figure out the options but always get to the solid conclusion that we do it the Finnish Way, hoping on the best but prepare for the worst!
Rigging the equipment works well and soon we start to move, a little to tight together maybe!
But on a low speed we slowly make progress, sometimes I need to go ahead just by myself to reqon the way, but it turns out better then suspected. the wind and clouds opens up and 40 min later we are at the base of the routes. 

Two different choices above with one more likely to be able to topping out, the other a little more ”open card”. So with the words ringing somewhere in the background we go for the more likely one. Looks quite straight forward with a little bit of everything and fun climbing with maybe 4 pitches.

  30 mountain minutes later we are all up at the bottom of the first pitch, a grade WI4 looking something that had a bit of sun on it, but looks super solid an fun.
Head up and off we go.
Second pitch is a 60mts snow field which we quite soon has travelled as well. Which sends us to the base of a little more interesting section of ice, 90 degree to start with but soon angles out again with some shorter sections with vertical hammers. Just fun!

  But as often in this areas everything is bigger than in distance and soon we have climbed 4 pitches and still not close to the summit.
One more easy pitch, nr5, takes me to the bottom of a most interesting looking steep thing. A full on vertical icy playground! Yeess!!
And as I like steep playgrounds I aim for the most playful part of it, which gives me a 20m section with icicles and overhanging climbing, pure fun!!

Closing the pitch with a belay just below the final traverse ledge at the summit I dress up for a bit of good time belaying my friends up to share the views of a wonderful passionated place, not even close to a mooning moon.

And yes, we wasn’t even close to be back at four´ich. More like 8 and a little late for dinner. But instead a great day out with friends!

Happy guys on top, Me Martin and Robert!

"3 Män Mooning” 6 pitches, WI5
2x50m rope
Ice screws
a couple of nuts
Lynx Snowmobile

//Mellan långa vintrar kommer korta somrar!