Tuesday 23 August 2011

Ersfjord new route

Centre Court 8b/+ first ascent, Tunga, Ersfjord. Gore-Tex jacket keeping the finishing hold dry until Donald pulled it away at the last moment. More pics on the Gore-Tex Experience Tour page here.
When jumping around the huge boulderfield at Ersfjord, one boulder stood out and had me  clambering straight for it and uncoiling my rope. Tunga is a huge leaning fin of granite. Currently home to the route Piercing (8b+ and currently the hardest route in northern Norway). 
I spotted a nice looking line leading across the wall into the upper half of Piercing and taking in it’s crux, so I got that bolted up straight away. I was hoping it would be a wee bit harder than Piercing, but in the end it’s about the same difficulty. There was only enough fingertip skin for 2 quick tries and then I was worried about split tips. So last night I returned but it was still so hot and humid I initially decided not to climb at all.
A whiff of breeze changed my mind, and it was just as well I succeeded first try since my fingers would not have stood another attempt. I can’t decide if its 8b or 8b+ (same goes for Piercing) so it has a split grade. Maybe if it wasn’t so humid it would have felt easier. I spent the rest of the session trying another line I bolted, 8b+/c or 8c+ depending on the chosen finish. I doubt I’ll have time to finish it before we leave, but I’ll have a go!


  1. Nice one! If this is a direct start from the ground instead of the kairn, it sounds like a great addition to the routes there.
    P.S: When it comes to the grade (although unimportant), last years visiting austrians felt that the right exit of Piercing could warrant 8b whereas the direct exit would be 8b+.

  2. The fin looks fantastic!

  3. Thanks Øystein. My new start comes in from the left actually. I also bolted the extension coming right out from the back of the cave. It's actually quite a lot of climbing - 20 odd moves of 8b+ or probably more just to get into the first move of Tungebandet/Piercing. To link into Piercing will make a tough route, but then I feel it might be very different if it wasn't boiling and humid! I'm super keen to try it although it's too hard for me on the days we have left.

  4. Brilliant! In our young days we dismissed the low start right as too futuristic. However, Audun (who bolted Tungebåndet in the early 90's) always envisionned a line that would start just left (i.e. Center Court) and finish in Leppa (the short 7a+). Do you think this could make for a nice 8a'ish link-up?

  5. So this is the new 8b you were talking about--wow! It doesn't get much more photogenic than that!