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!

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