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14th August 2014

Weekend climbing trip to Hægefjell (1021m)

Words and photos from Gaute. 

“Summer came early to Norway this year, and with thunder squalls raging in the southern Europe. The Norwegian mountains offered superb weather with sun and blue bird.

It scratched in my fingers. On the fifth call Elvis did not pick up the phone and Sigurd had promised his girlfriend…. ‘girlfriend weekend!’…

So I had to call a childhood friend who had just returned from 4 months of guiding in Badgarsteion, Benjamin. He is more of a skier, but no one can cheer you up more on a narrow cold mountain ledge than this guy.

Oda a climbing friend also showed up despite the fact that she was going off on a 2 week glacier expedition that Monday.

The tour went to Nissedal (translates to Santa valley) in the southwestern part of Telemark. 4 hours drive from Oslo, the Norwegian capital.

Hægefjell which is the most conspicuous mountain in Nissedal has a 500m high slick concave slabs with lovely clean cracks, where the nuts and cams stick in by themselves.

1

You can see the striking face of the south side of Hægefjell in the background

2

Me leading the crux on the ultra classic Hægar. A 450 m long route up the left side of the face.

Oda made some striking moves to get over an unsecured part of polished mountain.

3

Benjamin and I looking shocked and trying to get the beta, while not quite understand how we will get our bodies rigid enough to do these moves, yep! these guys are in SHOCK.

4

In the central portion of the wall the route follows a nice present dihedral formation, providing easy but nice climbing.

5

I am sad and a little bitter that I did not bring the paraglider.

But the mood rises quickly when I hear the others talking about swimming in some local potholes. The river was dammed for hydroelectric development, and polished rocks appeared where the river before was raging. It has now become a perfect seaside resort for locals and climbers in the valley. The drive from Hægefjell takes 50 min. You driving south to Haugsjåsund and take there the road west.

 6

Polished and hot rocks is king after a long climbing day.

7

Trying to impress some local ladies. Soon learned that I’m a climber, not a gymnast….

 8

Evening pancakes before the mosquitoes forced us into the tent. Got a little gravel in them before the technique was honed.

The next day we climbed a long and easy route that followed one continuous crack system for 400 meters.

9

Benjamin while leading placed the nuts in so hard that I almost broke my water bottle attempting to get them out. But it was too difficult to be angry for long with such a happy go lucky guy. So by the end of each belay it was forgotten.

10

Thanks for a great trip Oda and Benjamin.”  Gaute

 

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