American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Europe, Norway, Lofoten, Moskenesøy Island, Helvetesind, West Face, The Next Big Thing and Norwegian Sheep Ranch

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

MoskenesØy Island, Helvetestind, west face, The Next Best Thing and Norwegian Sheep Ranch. On July 3 Adam Stack and I climbed a six-and-a-half pitch line on what is locally known as Den Franske Pillaren (the French Pillar) on the west face (Hell's Wall) of Helvetestind (606m). The route, which we named The Next Best Thing, was 5.10+ and probably shares some common ground with the original line on the French Pillar, which was put up over six days in 1983 by Anne and Eric Lapied and party, though no one here quite knows where the Lapied line goes. From the top of the pillar we continued with 150m of easy simulclimbing/scrambling to the summit ridge, making our route 450m long. It was great climbing in a beautiful setting. We descended by the normal route on the south ridge (4th Class). Tommy Caldwell and Beth Rodden climbed a route on the French Pillar that was a bit harder than ours. They climbed six pitches of mostly excellent rock that was relatively sustained, with the first, third, and fourth pitches each 60m and 5.11. They called it “Norwegian Sheep Ranch.”

To the left, somewhere in the middle of the face, is an incomplete 5.8 A1 route climbed in 1984 by Finn Jensen and Arild Meyer. They climbed 11 pitches but retreated two pitches from the top of the wall. I recently saw a description of a line done way over on the left side of the face, but details are lacking.

Odd-Roar Wiik, Norway

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