In 2007, on a visit with Markus Haid, I managed the first one-day ascent of Arctandria on the north face of Blamannen. I was so impressed that I decided to return in July with Much Mayr. During the first trip my eyes continually strayed left across the wall to Bongo Bar, a 400m line climbed in July 1998 by Marten Blixt, Thomas Ekefalk, and Erik Massih. This six-pitch route has difficulties up to A3 and Norwegian 7 (F6c+). While I was certain the rock quality wasn’t as good as Arctandria, I could see that this section of face held immense potential for difficult, free, multi-pitch routes. After two days on the wall we started to feel a little downhearted. The third, steeply overhanging pitch of Bongo Bar was completely wet. Free climbing it was impossible. But why not try traversing left onto virgin territory? What about a link-up of the routes Bongo Bar and Atlantis? The latter was one of the original routes to breach the north face and climbed in June 1980 by Frode Guidai, Havard Nesheim, and Sjur Nesheim (400m, eight pitches, A1). It was freed in July 1990 by Per Hustad and Johan Nilsson at Norwegian 8-/8.
On day three we were successful in linking into Atlantis, but I had to place a bolt because the loose flake, which enabled us to climb the pitch free, fell into space after a couple of hammer blows as I tried to place a peg. We couldn’t have done it without the bolt. Unfortunately the corners and cracks above were extremely dirty and often wet. Climbing in these conditions was very demanding, and we needed a further two days to complete the ascent and then redpoint the remaining pitches. We used copperheads, pegs, nuts, cams, and the one bolt for protection, and our new line, Tingeling, now the fourth completely free route on the wall, goes at 7c+.
Unfortunately, almost uninterrupted rain then stopped us from making a one-day, continuous free ascent. But that’s Norway.
Hansjörg Auer, Austria
[Editor’s note: the Austrians spent five days working on the route over a period of two weeks. On the last day they reached the junction with Atlantis, having climbed the first two pitches of Bongo Bar, and four new pitches. However, the upper four pitches of Atlantis were too wet to climb and the pair descended. Given the weather during their visit, Auer and Mayr were more than happy to have opened the free link, but a complete one-day ascent to the top of the wall remains. Auer’s single protection bolt was drilled by hand.]