So, about a week ago my regular climbing partner came up to northern Norway for a brief visit. We met at the parking below Kugelhornet and Verdensvaet in the Efjord area and had our eyes set on Livet lever, a 16 pitch route on Eidetind’s north west face. The route, which is graded 6-, has three stars in the excellent guidebook Stetind and Narvik – dancing on the devil’s dancefloor by Mikael af Ekenstam and Lars Thulin. Having climbed a few other routes in the area (and in other areas in northern Norway) we knew that three stars would most likely mean world class granite climbing. Naturally, our expectations were high.
We headed up from the small village of Eidet in the afternoon, reaching the foot of the wall at around 5 o’clock. The route follows a system of cracks from bottom to top and it sure looked like a nice line. After scoping out the general direction of the route we started on the first pitch. The rock on Eidetinds north west face is a lot smoother than that found on Stetind for example. I guess most of the small knobs have been worn down by snow and running water over the years.
The climbing felt good, the sun was shining from a clear blue sky and there was hardly any wind. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing really. The only thing we soon discovered was that the three stars given to the route had to be given as a joke or as a way of trying to lure more climbers to this seldom visited side of the mountain. A few pitches up (of course) the grass and moss was abundant, filling the cracks on many of the pitches. Fortunately the vegetation was dry and you could see that climbers before us had dug out holes in the grass to be able place protection, thanks for that! Nevertheless, our high expectations were shattered and we wondered what the first ascentionists could have been on when reviewing their own ”creation” for the guidebook.
Anyway, sometime early morning two nagging middle aged men stood on the top with a breathtaking view of mountains and fjords.
We’d sworn a lot about those three stars which had fooled us up on to this rock face, but still, during the descent the feeling of having completed yet another mini adventure in the mountains became more and more positive. But would we recommend Livet lever to others? Hell no. Of course, if you know about the vegetation and lower your expectations you may have a great time.
We entered our tent at about 6 o’clock, falling asleep instantly.
The following day (well, the same day really) soon revealed itself as a rest day, with two worn down climbers mostly lying on the rocks by the stream that comes down the giant slab of Verdenssvaet. After some time we got restless though and for some reason we just couldn’t resist the temptation to do the first(?) nude ascent of the big slab. What can I say, sometimes when you come up with an idea – no matter how great or how crazy it is – you just have to see it through, don’t you?
The other mountains in the region still had quite a lot of snow on them and we decided to head up to Narvik for some sport climbing in Svartdalen. This is a very nice set of crags, complex and with a vast potential for new routes. We enjoyed some of the existing routes for a day and a half and then it was time for me to head back to ”Villa Valberg” on Vestvågøy. Can’t wait to go back to Efjord. But I’m done with Eidetind. I think.
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