American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Breiflogtinden, East Face, Arctic Odyssey

Norway, Lofoten

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018

From July 20 to 22, Anar Demirov and Andrey and Dmitriy Panov completed the first ascent of the main east face of Breiflogtinden via Arctic Odyssey (950m of climbing, 20 pitches, 7a A3). The left side of this face is bounded by the damp and sometimes loose depression of Reicht Rinne (approximately 18 pitches, Norwegian 4/5, Hanche-Olsen-Smelvaer, 1972). Around to the left on the southeast face and pillars are more demanding routes such as One Hundred Years Later (N7+, 2013) and Permit to Asgard (N7, 1997).

Breiflogtinden (750m, approximately 68°0'22.07"N, 12°58'47.49"E ) on Lofoten’s westernmost island of Moskenesøya, is well visible from Reine, looking north up the Kjerkfjord. It is northeast of Helvetestinden. After about 20 minutes on the ferry from Reine, it is an hour and a half's walk to the foot of the wall.

In 2016 the Panov brothers and Vanya Cherkashin climbed the first nine pitches of the east face but were rained off. The face can be divided into three sections: pitches 1–8, a 70-80° slab with often very poor protection; pitches 9–14, vertical or overhanging terrain that was mainly A3 (the team estimated it might be climbed free at around 7c); and pitches 15–20, mostly much easier climbing with good protection (one pitch of 6b+).

Pitch four (6a+) is the first psychological crux: There are no natural gear placements and in 2016 Andrey climbed this 60m pitch with no protection. In 2017 Dimitry placed two bolts. The team climbed the route with a portaledge, and on the last day made a 24-hour push to reach the top. There are no ledges on which to spend the night from the base of the climb to pitch 16.

They made a few observations. There are more logical lines on this face, but the whole area of western Lofoten brims with untouched walls. The weather can change quickly from good to consistently bad. The weather office predicts rain well, sun rather worse. If a storm is forecast, it is better to pitch your tent with every piton available and stay inside. Conversely, if the Norwegians start to re-roof their houses, it is a sure sign of good weather!

– Lindsay Griffin, with information from Elena Dmitrenko,

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.

Photos and Topos Click photo to view full size and see caption