Lofoten

One day after the summer solstice I travelled north of the arctic circle to spend a week climbing with my friends Steve and Courtney. We were headed to the Lofoten islands,  an archipelago in northern Norway. The weather was initially a bit grey and wet, but the 24hour sunlight allowed us to climb or hike essentially whenever we wanted, to take advantage of the best weather.

Though there were quite a few tourists in the area at this time of year, I was pleased to see that it was still quite easy to camp on public land, and there was very little evidence of littering or other signs of the land being overused. It was interesting to see and think of Norway in a context other than the cross country skiing one – though I did see a few rollerskiers over the week.

Norway was very easy to travel in, though I was glad that I brought a backpack full of food from England as the local food prices were very high. Most Norwegians seem to speak impeccable English, though I did manage to find some locals north of Tromso who didn’t.

IMGP0220

Spectacular views out of Bodo on the way to Narvik. I’m assuming these are military hangars.

20160623_080145

Making friends with Kato, at a friends place in the town of Kjopsvik.

IMGP0224

Too wet to climb unfortunately.

IMGP0228

But this peak looks nice if we give it a few hours to dry out – the Hamaroyskaftet.

IMGP0233

Sometimes the islands felt more tropical than arctic, but the temperatures were constantly cool.

IMGP0236

Spot the sheep.

IMGP0241

Where the heck is the route? Wishing we had a real paper guidebook.

IMGP0249

We found the way up!

IMGP0252

And the views were worth the wait.

IMGP0256

Evening light.

IMGP0257

On the way down to catch the ferry.

IMGP0262

Midnight ferry from Skutvik to Svolvaer.

IMGP0265

Fish drying racks in Henningsvaer.

IMGP0269

Worlds most spectacular football pitch? I should have taken a wider photo – balls are often lost into the adjacent sea.

IMGP0270

Bouldering near Kalle.

IMGP0274

Looks like a nice spot to camp (until the drunken Finns showed up to wake us at 2am!)

IMGP0282

Courtney and Steve.

IMGP0354

I wouldn’t recommend this as a daily lunch, but when you’re on a rock wall for 10 hours it’s perfect! (essentially a Kit-Kat bar)

IMGP0287

Steve takes the lead.

IMGP0290

Up he goes into the mysterious misty beyond.

 

IMGP0279

Almost there now!

IMGP0294

Cleaning and packing up after a chilly swim in the lake behind us.

After a few days of climbing, Steve and Courtney had to head back to Canada and I spent an extra day and a half by myself hiking to the north of Tromso. I have never been this far north – just under the 70th parallel!  I took more pictures in this time than in the previous five days – here are just a few:

IMGP0292

Local snack.

IMGP0301

Camping under the midnight sun.

IMGP0305

Looking back towards Tromso.

IMGP0316IMGP0317IMGP0328

IMGP0335

Skulsfjord – sadly no food shop here so I had to hike 8.5 hours on only 300g of cheese!

IMGP0345

Climbing from sea level to over 700m.

IMGP0346

Yes, thank you, this is exactly how I like my summer vacations.

IMGP0353

Tromso radar station and mountain warming hut.

One response to “Lofoten

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s