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Multipitch climbing in the midnight sun.

I was in Lofoten for some winter climbing five years ago (photos here) and I've wanted to come back for rock climbing ever since.
Sylvia and I had our sights set on Lofoten but the weather report was bad so we lurked around in northen Sweden climbing until
we finally got a good report of three nice days in between the bad weather, so off we went and we did not regret it for a second!


We arrived in the rain, but at least our tent spot came with a nice view.

But the weather report was accurate. The next day was nice and sunny.

Our campsite was close to the infamous cliff face of 'Presten' (The Priest), one of the main reasons for me wanting to come back.

We started with the easy classic 'Pianohandler Lund's rute' (Piano dealer Lund's route).

Sylvia lead every pitch of this route as she needs a little more experience with multipitch leading.

I was just a tourist along for the ride.

The water around Lofoten has such a nice color.

Our dining room came with a nice view too.

The village of Henningsvær.

A nice easy offwidth boulder problem close to our campsite.

It wasn't very hard, but I would be a little concerned if I had to climb a crack like this a few hundred meters up as it would be very hard to protect.

On our second day, or evening I should say, we headed into Djupfjord to do another real classic called 'Bare blåbär'. A seven pitch climb graded 5-.

We took a wrong turn on the approach and had to do a lot of bushwhacking before getting to the base of the climb, but that didn't matter because there were climbers just in front of us.

I've never started a multipitch climb this late. But what does that matter? Time has no meaning when you have the midnight sun as your headlamp.

Sylvia on the second pitch.

Me on the third pitch.

This climb just gets better and better.

'Bare blåbär' is the Norwegian way of saying 'a piece of cake'. Well, it sure was not hard, but what a nice climb!

Sylvia on the fantastic fourth pitch.

It's said that this is Norways finest climb at the grade... This has to be one of the finest trad climbs anywhere at that grade.

And there was no shortage of great views either.

Sylvia on the even better pitch five. How good can climbing get it this grade!?

The sun is starting to go low behind the moutains.

This photo was taken by Sylvia around midnight... The last two pitches where rather bleak in comparison to the first five, but worth doing anyway.

Out comes the nice and bright yellow rope for rappelling down again.

A climber on Bare blåbär, taken while we were rappelling down.

I'm back on the ground, Sylvia is on her way.

We were back at the base just before 2 am, and people were still starting up. People climb aroud the clock here... There are only two times to care about: when the shops and cafés are open, and when they are closed.

Djupfjord on our way back to the tent.

The sun is starting to rise back over the mountains again.

A closer view of Djupfjord.

Back at the campsite our view was waiting for us.

Me on a bad ass hardcore crack boulder problem near our tent...

Yep, I did the crack of doom alright! But this photo is taken at a weird angle so it does not look so steep. The previous photo shows the real angle! I promise!!

On to more serious stuff... This is Presten (The Priest). Ever since I saw this cliff five years ago I've wanted to come back and climb it. Now was the time...

The view from the base of the cliff, and it's only going to get better and better.

The route on this evening's menu is 'Vestpillaren' (The west pillar). This is me on the first pitch.

'Vestpillaren' is a twelve pitch, 400 meter trad route with three grade 6 pitches and two at 6-. I was a little concerned about not being up for it.

Sylvia belaying me on the third pitch, the first grade 6 pitch.

The route was very well protected on the hardest pitches.

Sylvia leading the fourth pitch.

Sylvia on the traversing sixth pitch.

Me leading pitch seven, the second grade 6 pitch.

Sylvia seconding pitch seven.

We started somewhere around 15:30 in the afternoon. Where else can you start a 400 meter twelve pitch trad climb that late and not be in any hurry at all?

Climbing with this view all around in the midnight sun is sooo nice.

A semi hanging belay on top of the second grade 6 pitch, then on to a nice 5+ pitch.

The cliff face of Presten is situated so you can enjoy the midnight sun almost all night.

The infamous 'Slanting corner' pitch, the last grade 6 pitch of the climb. Not very hard, more akward rather. You wouldn't want to climb it with a bad back...

Looking down the slanting corner.

Sylvia coming up to the belay after the slanting corner pitch. Hats off to her for climbing it with that sack on.

They call Lofoten 'The magic islands'... I have to agree... Mike paradise has been located!

What can I say? Breathtaking...

Just past midnight, a few pitches to go.

Sylvia on the eleventh pitch, sometime just past 1 am I think.

The team behind us on pitch eleven.

The village of Henningsvær, shadowed by the Festvågtinden peak. Taken during the descent.

So we did it! Vestpillaren during the midnight sun, with no falls or hangs on the rope for either of us. The next day the weather turned bad as forcasted. This is Presten shrouded in mist. Shortly after the rain started to pour down and would continue to do so for almost a full week, so we took off... But we'll be comming back again, that's for sure!

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