New climbing routes made at Norway meet

Access, Mountaineering

New routes and new friendships were made by the climbers from 15 different countries who met in Lofoten, Norway between March 8 and 15.

The international climbing meet, organised by the Norwegian Alpine Club, gave the 40 participants the chance for mixed ice and rock climbing in a special landscape with a view of the North Sea. There was also time for discussions about climbing ethics, and sharing knowledge and experiences.

The participants were full of praise for the organisers and the natural setting of Lofoten. “Maybe the best description of the entire week would be a single word – followed with silence – spoken by Bjorn when I joined him sitting on the summit of Rulten: MAGIC,” said Marko Prezelj from Slovenia. “Myself, often labeled as a perfectionist, can just add: ‘perfect’.”

The meet was informal and it was up to each climber to choose how to spend their days. Several new routes were set by the participants, and information about these will be made available on the Norwegian Alpine Club website.

The Norwegians took the opportunity to advocate the Norwegian culture of “clean climbing” – avoiding the use of fixed bolts in Norway’s high mountains. Naturally, not a single bolt was drilled into the rock during the meet. Some of the international climbers promised to spread the word on the local climbing culture to people back home. “Norway has some of the biggest potential for adventure in the world and it needs to be cherished,” said Andy Cave from the UK.

The organisers also declared the event a success, perhaps to be repeated. “We hope that the participants will return to Norway and attend other meetings we arrange to reveal some other unique climbing locations in Norway,” said organiser Marius Morstad.