The alarm clock goes off at 04:00. One by one the boys leave their comfortable beds at a very cosy cabin by the sea. They eat their heavy breakfast, composed of porridge, banana, chocolate, raisins and butter. Are they going to make it, Norway's third hardest mountain to climb? Is Olav Bakken going to remember the route up and down this fortress of solid rock? Is Matthias Poeverlein going to succeed to lead climb and secure the group? Is Olav Blaich prepared for this challenge? These are question that goes through their minds while they eat their breakfast in silence.
At 05:00 they start the two hours hiking towards the wall. The weather is perfect and they are optimistic and eager.05:00 o’clock at the start of the path towards Strandåtinden. The weather is perfect.Very close to the wall
Two hours later the view is mind-blowing. Strandåvika´s white sandy beach, the turquoise sea and the snowy peaks of Lofoten far to the west are just spectacular.07:00 o’clock. The fantastic Strandåvika and its turquoise waters. Lofoten far away in the background.
Now the climbing starts. The first rope up went fine. Matthias leads the climb and secures the group. One by one they manage the first climb. So far so good! At the top of the first climb they see what lay ahead. First a rappel down, followed by a very narrow and steep ridge with several challenging spots to cross. Far ahead they see the goal: the top of the Strandåtinden.The path is getting steeper and steeper.
However, before reaching the goal they will have to pass the most difficult part of the trip. The notorious "Halls Hammer". The boys are tense. Are they going to manage this obstacle? Matthias leads on and after some tense moments he reaches the top of the climb and fixes a good anchor point. Olav Bakken follows. Now it is Olav Blaich´s turn. The first part goes quite OK and everything seems to be working well. Suddenly Olav Blaich loses his balance. Now he is hanging by the thin rope 700 meters above safe ground. The anchor point holds and after some shocking seconds the climb continues.Matthias leading up the "Halls Hammer" the crux of the climb (the most difficult portion of a climb). Olav Bakken climbing and being secured by Matthias that is already at the top of the "Halls Hammer".
After the "Halls Hammer" the group has a good feeling. The most difficult challenges are behind and the top is near.Olav Bakken and Matthias working on a very airy rappel near the top of Strandåtinden.
After nine hours of hard work and extremely airy experiences, the boys reaches the top of Strandåtinden 862 meters above the sea at 14:00 o’clock. Great feeling! Fantastic view!At 862 meters above the sea, the top of Strandåtinden, the ultimate goal for the trip.
After a short break the group starts on the decent. Some very airy rappels are waiting for them.
12 hours later they return safe, tired and very happy to the waiting carSafe ground
The only reasonable thing to do now is to celebrate with an ice cold Bavarian beer. What a feeling!