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Lofoten Part 4

Packing our kit was a brief affair. We'd just had 36 hours in our tents, we had managed to find time for our Climbing prep!

The walk back from Hennigsvaer had taken us directly under Presten;

'It's shear nose of granite raises 400m from above the sea in a single majestic sweep'

...the guide-book is right! You can't help but be Psyched for Climbing after seeing that!

Walking in to Djupfjord Buttress took us back over the road and across the fjord.

To say that this place is stunning is an understatement.

Our approach to the climb initially took us boulder-hopping down the water's edge, a welcome warm-up for the day.

The route over the Two Faces buttress, which stands proud as Djupfjord's neighbour, took a little finding though.

It involved a steep ascent path over wet rock and grass, a descent through 'awkward' tress on 'steep' muddy steps, then an abseil down a suspect and sodden 'in-situ' rope. Which we thought wise to back-up.

After a quick slog up through similarly 'Awkward' trees on the leeward side of the Two Faces. We arrived at the foot of our route 'Djupfjord Buttress' (N5+), a little over-warm, but keen to get climbing. After sorting-out gear, Alan lead us up the initial pitch and into the sunshine. Once clear of the trees, we cold admire the complexity of the granite stretching out high above us.

With only 3 recorded routes on the buttress there's plenty of room to deviate and explore.

The second pitch involved an long step across a steep slab to the safety of a welcome spike of rock. Followed by some exposed bouldering to the foot of a short, steep crack. Nicely strenuous moves, followed by padding gently up a short slab, saw pitch 2 safely dispatched (HVS 5a).

A 40m run-out easy-slab had us quickly gaining height and gave us chance to admire the views all around us. I can't clearly remember whether we actually did 2 or 3 three pitches, either way, we arrived at the foot of 'The Man Gobbler'.....

The slab above our belay reared-up into a steep left-facing corner. A deep body-sized crack in the corner promised an abundance of gear placements, the walls either side looked great for bridging-up, unless you wanted to place protection that is! Alan decided that placing gear was a sensible idea and after the delicate approach slab, he preceded to disappear into the deep crack. The Man-Gobbler had him! The gear was a full arm-length reach to the back of the crack, so with half his body buried in the crack, thrutching his way up the while placing all of our large cams seemed to be the accepted technique. According to Alan it was quite least that's what i deciphered from all his mumbling and cursing. From the safety and comfort of the belay, i did kinda get what all the fuss was about. It was Alan's pitch though, so the suffering was all his! When my turn came i bridged-up the corner, no bother at all.

Leaving Alan on the belay above the The Man Gobbler, still grumbling and tired, i headed-up the next short section. The bulging, rounded rock either side of the ensuing wide crack that i became engaged-in, made for sweaty work, reminiscent of an 'Awkward' Gritstone top-out. Not the kind of crux i needed 6 pitches up on an already pretty strenuous route. Having battled my way up the crack, not entirely cleanly, i belayed on a large grass ledge that was now feeling like the very top section of the buttress.

We were now actually only one-pitch from the top and the guidebook picture seemed to have us heading right for an easy exit. It just didn't seem appropriate though, we were stood below a 12m corner that promised a more fitting end to the route. This was the real beauty of Djupfjord Butress, there were options everywhere... you can just link-up pitches that take your fancy and have a real adventure. The final pitch of our adventure turned-out to be really strenuous! Alan enjoyed the work-out, kinda.......I didn't! The climbing was great though, maybe only 2 points of aid for me i reckon.

Fatigue was playing its part as we topped-out from the final pitch. We were both pretty tired and still had a lengthy walk-out to contend with. After a few photos and a little time to rest and refuel, we packed away the climbing gear and set-off on our route-out.

We had opted for a longer walk-out. Heading up the valley and around the fjord to get a closer look at some of the rock-faces that were less-travelled, according to the guidebook.

We'd had a real adventure, returning eventually some 9 hours later to our camp. Tired, but still remarkably upbeat and enthusiastic about climbing again soon. Rest was needed now though, and maybe an easier route tomorrow. Feeding, chatting and soaking in the views under the light of the mid-night sun took us an hour or so..... then we retired to our tents for some well-deserved rest.

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