Ines Papert: Ice climbing on Senja Island, Norway
A trip to Norway is a must for any self-respecting ice climber and after visiting the Romsdalen region last year, this season Ines Papert decided to travel even further north, namely 350km above the polar circle to Senja, Norway's second-largest island.
Senja lies next to the Lofoten islands and offers a lot of untouched rock and ice. Ines Papert and friends (Thomas Senf, Nina and Christian Schlesener) climbed and opened their routes ‘traditional Norwegian style’ which means without bolts.
The absolute highlight of the trip – except from the amazing norther lights at night – was the first ascent of a 400m (1300 feet) long mixed climb “Finnmannen” M9+/WI7/E8 clean (a handful of pitons were used).
Ines teamed up with local Bent Vidar Eilertsen. She took the lead, laden with gear, but after 10m of climbing, the crack they thought would bring them to the ice above came to an end. Unable to protect a direct line and unwilling to use bolts, Ines traversed right and found a path through 20m of tricky climbing. Unfortunately, the two climbers ran out of gear and decided to retreat.
The following morning, equipped with even more gear, they successfully made it through the mixed pitches—but not without difficulty on the crux traverse. "Bent still had to traverse. Unfortunately he did break his blade in the first meters," Ines says, "but I convinced him to keep going."
It took Eilertsen two hours to get through the traverse pitch with a broken pick—yet this M9+ crux was just halfway. In an impressive 19 hour push, the pair finished Finnmannen (WI6+ M9+, 400m) by headlamp.
The team made the most of their 10-day stay to climb a series of other routes nearby which include the first ascent of Aurorabuttress M7/WI6+ 250m (Ines Papert, Thomas Senf)