Northern Norway: Climbing in the Midnight Sun 2018

 
   
  
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  Au cheval above the clouds just after midnight on Stetinds East ridge. Tysfjord. Photo Åse Jakobsen.

Au cheval above the clouds just after midnight on Stetinds East ridge. Tysfjord. Photo Åse Jakobsen.

The ACC is going to Norway

Like many so many great things, the idea of an Alpine Club of Canada trip to Norway was the product of a chance meeting at the club’s annual General Mountaineering Camp. Over a steaming goulash in the dining tent on the Albert Icefields, our VP of Activities, Frank Spears and ACMG alpine guide Andrew Rennie chewed over giving ACC members the opportunity to reach summits in the Southern Alps of New Zealand (more to come on that shortly) and climb granite multi-pitch routes in the Arctic Circle of Northern Norway.

   
  
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  Climber takes off their shoes at a belay on Råna, above Svolvær. Vågakallen (The old man of the county) is the mountain lurking in the background. Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

Climber takes off their shoes at a belay on Råna, above Svolvær. Vågakallen (The old man of the county) is the mountain lurking in the background. Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

Norway was selected as the club’s international camp destination for the summer of 2018. And alongside staff from the National Office, ACMG rock guide and Norway resident Charlie Long was added to the team. Charlie is testament to the mystical draw of the region; having grown up climbing in and around Squamish and the coastal mountains of BC, he first tasted what the Norwegian Arctic had to offer on a MEC-supported expedition in 2014. Four years later he has returned to Norway every single summer and now calls Tromsø home with his Norwegian wife (disclaimer: Norwegian romance not guaranteed on this trip).


Where we are going

Armed with Andrew and Charlie’s knowledge, we went straight for the jugular in selecting our Norwegian destinations. The highlights of our 11-day trip will be five nights among the white sand beaches, crystal clear fjords and jagged peaks of Lofoten; then four nights in Tysfjord, home of Norway’s iconic mountain, Stetind.

   
  
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  Rappel descent above Caribbean looking waters in Henningsvær, Lofoten. The water temperature is usually around 7 degrees. Photo Thomas Sloss.

Rappel descent above Caribbean looking waters in Henningsvær, Lofoten. The water temperature is usually around 7 degrees. Photo Thomas Sloss.

Lofoten: The rocky island archipelago that makes up Lofoten juxtaposes sheer granite peaks against the deep blue fjords of the Norwegian Sea. While the mountains aren’t high by Canadian Rockies or European Alps standards (the highest peak reaches only 1,161m), the dramatic cliffs, granite walls, and green hills rise straight from the Atlantic Ocean.

Stetind and Tysfjord: The breathtaking surroundings, spectacular vistas and clean-cut rock features leave no doubt that Stetind deserves its status as Norway’s national mountain. For a dedicated climber, the neighbouring town of Tysfjord holds incredible potential. Canadian climbers will be reminded of the Bugaboos’ granite spires. As well as Stetind, the ridge on the Kugelhornet are spectacular climbing destinations in their own right.

   
  
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  Scrambling on Stetind’s West Ridge. Prestind on the right. Tysfjord Photo Vegard With Stennes.

Scrambling on Stetind’s West Ridge. Prestind on the right. Tysfjord Photo Vegard With Stennes.


Five reasons you should join us

1. Granite

Bugaboos-esque, high quality, varied granite climbing awaits you at every turn. Lofoten alone offers the potential for short, single-pitch rock climbs, 2-4 pitch multi-pitch climbs, alpine ridge routes, difficult alpine walls, and long multi-pitch climbs. On the Tysfjord leg of the trip, the granite walls of Eidetind and the ridge on the Kugelhornet are spectacular granite climbing destinations as well as the infamous Stetind, Norway’s national mountain which is – you guessed it – also granite!

   
  
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  View from Fløya, Svolvær. Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

View from Fløya, Svolvær. Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

2. Cultural experiences

Despite the distances separating Norway’s northern communities from its major cities, the harsh weather and 24-hour darkness in winter, Norwegians have created flourishing communities above the Arctic Circle. The fishing industry, resource development, and tourism have brought a thriving economy to the area. A connection with the culture and heritage of Norway is apparent from the many local shops and galleries featuring art and folk crafts. While you recover from your flight and travel to Lofoten, you’ll have a chance to take in the culture and history with a visit to WWII, Viking or fishing museums.

3. Varied landscapes

White sandy beaches, dramatic fjords, coastal conifer forests, granite-spired peaks, quaint fishing villages – the Arctic coastline of Norway has it all. Don’t forget to pack your camera as the locations we’re visiting are a photographer’s dream.

   
  
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  Ridge Scrambles above Svolvær have nice views. Vågakallen in the distance Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

Ridge Scrambles above Svolvær have nice views. Vågakallen in the distance Photo Kristin Folsland Olsen.

4. Near 24-hour daylight

Enough said.

5. Cost

The cost of this camp is $6,995 CAD. Don’t splutter on your Corn Flakes just yet! With the strength of the Norwegian Krona and remoteness of many of its regions, Norway regularly tops the charts in terms of the cost of living and travel. Guiding, food, gas and many other costs are all at a significant premium to Canada. Through our local connections and sharing of costs across a group we’re confident that you’d be hard pressed to organize a 2:1 or 3:1 guided 11-day trip to Norway with food, accommodation, transportation and gear included for anything less. And hey, apart from booking flights, we’ve done all the work for you!

   
  
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  Climbing on the West Wall of Stetind, Tysfjord Photo Vegard With Stennes.

Climbing on the West Wall of Stetind, Tysfjord Photo Vegard With Stennes.


Join the trip today!

ACC Logo no text 2.jpg

The ACC’s 2018 international camp to Norway will take place from July 4th – 14th (11 days).

The price of $6,995 + tax per person includes all meals (except inbound and outbound travel days), professional guiding (at a guaranteed guiding ratio of 3:1 or 2:1), accommodation for the duration for the camp, all transportation including private van rental and ferries, all ropes and group gear.