New routes in Northern Norway. Summer 2023

Collection of topos of our new summer routes in Northern Norway in 2023.

Reka (607m), Langøya, Vesterålen.

We established three new routes on the SE face of Reka (607m) this summer. Iconic mountain had previously only one summer route on it`s SE face from 2013 by Magnus Eriksson and Jonas Jakobsen, called Labyrinth. Climbing on the face is steeper and more hold rich than normally in the area and due to that I got hooked and returned to it four times during the summer.

Picture by: Paal Uglefisk Lund.

Routes on from left to right:

Labyrinth, 200m (7). FA Magnus Eriksson and Jonas Jakobsen, 2013.

  • Starts from a wide crack on the left hand side of the pillar. First ascent team did pendulums on the last part of the route but in 2023 Juho free climbed that section as Minotauros joins to the same line on the last pitch. Actual grades of the lower pitches are unknown but the last pitch is probably the crux and goes now at 7. Route was climbed ground-up.

Minotauros, 200m (7). FA Juho Knuuttila and Sara Skoglund, 2023.

  • Line joins Labyrinth on the last pitch. Has potential to become a classic of the face. Take a large rack up to camalot number 4. Route was climbed ground-up and on-sight.

P1: 7-, 40m.
Climb up a chimney behind a leaning rock tower. Climb top of the tower and do a wild move to a crack on the left. Climb up this crack to a scoop.
P2: 7-, 40m.
Continue up cracks to a small roof. Pass that from the right. Continue to another roof and pass that also from the right by following big grey holds 7m the right. Then head back left to do a hanging belay.
P3: 6, 25m.
Head straight up a fist crack. Then go up a left trending ramp. Step up right to a small ledge. Belay from there.
P4: 7-, 40m.
Follow left trending cracks for 40m to the base of a large yellow wall. There is a ledge base of a mini dihedral to belay from. Hard to make a belay.
P5: 7, 60m.
Climb 7m on crimps up left. Bold at the start. Then traverse right on grey rock. Then head straight up until you can traverse left again to a ledge. Head straight up following flakes and cracks. This pitch can be splitted to two.

Iliad, 200m (7). FA Juho Knuuttila and Joda Dolmans, 2023.

  • Adventurous route which has a bit more flakey rock than other lines. Take a large rack up to camalot number 5. Route was climbed ground-up and on-sight.
    P1: 6-, 35m.
    Climb up a chimney/wide crack. Continue past booming flakes to a hanging belay.
    P2: 7, 40m.
    Follow crack until it ends. Then long reach to a crack on the right. Put pieces in and do a downclimb/traverse to a another crack system further right. Continue up that for 30m to a sloping ledge.
    P3: 6+, 25m.
    Straight up a right facing corner into a left facing dihedral with some flakes. Belay from a good ledge top of a tower.
    P4: 6+, 35m.
    Step left and follow steep cracks to an area of grey rock. Continue up on grey rock (bold) towards a small roof. Belay top of that or step to the right to belay in a corner.
    P5: 7, 35m
    Head towards a left facing corner on face holds. Climb steep corner up to a fridge block. Then traverse left under a roof to get to a nice crack. Climb up that to a base of another roof. Pass that from the right. Belay top of this roof.
    P6: 6+, 40m
    Head straight up. Then few meters left before continuing straight up. Top out and belay from a huge rock.

Rødpillaren, 225m (A2 or 8-). FA Juho Knuuttila, Lassi Meronen and Orlando Addis.

  • Testpiece of the face. The most sustained climbing on the steepest part of the pillar. Still waiting a continuous free ascent as crux pitch was only followed free. Take a large rack up to camalot number 4. Lots of triple sizes and small gear too. Route was climbed ground-up but required too attempts.

P1: 6-, 15m.
Climb up a corner to a nice ledge.
P2: 7, 30m.
‘The Vein pitch’. Head straight up using double cracks until you reach a grey vein leading up right. Follow the vein with some hard moves to a hanging belay.
P3: 7, 30m
Straight up, following a shallow crack (bold). Reach right to get to a nice crack in a corner. Continue straight up until cracks run out. Do few delicate moves left to gain a sloping ledge.
P4: 7, 30m.
‘The down climb’. First up an easy corner. Then step right to climb shallow cracks to a sloping ledge. Then do a tricky downclimb/traverse to the right.
P5: A2 or 8-, 45m.
‘The mega pitch of Reka’. Climb to the base of a small roof. Pass that from the left. Continue up a crack until it ends. Then traverse left on cracks to gain a flake. Do another powerfull traverse to the left to gain a thin crack in a left facing corner. Follow that up to a grey rock. Belay from a good ledge top of the grey colored rock. (Small gear for the belay).
P6: 7-, 25m.
‘Lassi’s pitch’. Step right from the ledge and climb up to small roofs (bold). Climb over them trending right. Hanging belay.
P7: 7, 30m.
‘The finger crack’. Head left following cracks and big holds until you reach a steep thin hands/finger crack. Climb that straight up to a sloping ledge.
P8: 6+, 40m.
Follow weakneses straight up to the top.

Approach: Parking as for the normal route. You follow the normal path until the first big swamp. After that continue following the shore of the fjord until you can hike up a valley on the northeast side of the mountain (2h) To get to the base of the wall you need to traverse big grass ledge system from left to right (1h, grade 2).

Descent: Continue easily to the summit of Reka (20min) and rappel down the normal route.

Lappviktinden, Peak 1338m, Skjomen.

Lappblad, 600m (6). FA Juho Knuuttila, 2023.

In August 2023 I free/rope soloed a new line on the NE face of Peak 1338m. It probably shares first two pitches with Krister Jonssons Cafe Solo, but then heads left when Kristers line goes right. Fredrik Aspö had attempted the same line few years earlier but bailed 3/4 up the wall.

Really nice slabby climbing. Some splitter cracks and exposed climbing on the edge in the last part of the route. Highly recommended. Take a rack up to camalot number 5.

Ytre Sætertinden, Bjærangen, Meløy.

I dronningens skygge, 300m (7). FA Juho Knuuttila and Joda Dolmans, 2023.

Topo will come up later but our line follows the obvious corner in the middle and then trends right to a splitter crack high up right on the face. Pitches are 7, 6, 7-, 6+, 5+, 4+, 7 and 7-. Route was climbed ground-up and on-sight.