Storpillaren (N7/E5 6a, 600 m), Lofoten

11 October, 2015

At the end of this summer, Andrew Cherry and Stefan Morris, enjoyed a Scandinavian road-trip with one of the highlights being an ascent of the 600 metre Storpillaren on the north face of V├ągakallen (942 m) in Norway's Lofoten Islands.

Thumbs up to them for capturing the fun and adventure of trad climbing (video above), spiced with uncertainty, where hard won success earns itself a special place in the memory bank.

The Rockfax write-up for routes on V├ągakallen's north face includes some advice for would be ascentionists: "Once known for obvious reasons as 'The Bonatti Pillar of Lofoten'… All routes should be considered as very major undertakings for teams experienced in multi-day ascents."

Storpillaren pitch 4 Andrew Cherry on pitch 4 of the Storpillaren.

The route is described as: "A Lofoten classic - long, remote and serious, though less so on all counts, than the routes to the left. The route received its long overdue first free ascent in 2001, though it is still normally done with some aid (6-, A1) where needed."

In their public UKC logbooks, Stefan and Andrew, wrote respectively: "Oh, man. Incredible route, full-on! Not super keen for descent in the dark so we split it into two days with a shiver bivvy on pitch 11 ledge. Chilly but very beautiful sunrise. Harder climbing all before pitch 8 then just negotiating easier looser stuff to the top. The pitch 14 abseil sucks."

"Led the free variation over two days, with a chilly night on the big ledge above pitch 11. Fantastic, physical and quite gnarly climbing on solid rock through the steep lower pitches. The upper pinnacles and long descent are a bit of a horror show."

More of Andrew and Stefan's thoughts about their ascent with photos on their blog - The Frictitous Adventures of Stefan and Cherry.

We've enjoyed following Andrew and Stefan's adventures since the summer of 2014 when they were busy preparing for their first big wall adventure (Big Wall Dreaming). That preparation and training paid-off in September of that year with their ascent of El Cap's Triple Direct (C2 5.9).