¨Friluftsliv¨ (translated as ¨free air living¨) is the Norwegian word for a life lived fully by taking advantage of the outdoors and the recreation provided by nature. A lifestyle celebrated fully and involving only tools necessary for outside play. Little more than respect for nature and a sense of adventure is needed to follow the ¨free air life.¨ Living modestly and without boundaries, Friluftsliv might be simply understood by those of us in the states as the ¨dirt-bag life.¨
After the Icelandair squabbles our trip to northern Norway has been defined by unbelievably good fortune. The weather has been so uncharacteristic of the far north that only the ¨midnight sun¨ has been a reminder that we are actually in Arctic Norway. A month in Lofoten and only four days of rain might happen once in a lifetime according to locals.
Early on we climbed everyday like it might be our last anticipating the inevitable rainfall that keeps Norway from becoming an extremely popular climbing destination. That is we climbed as much as we could while distraction in the form of ridiculous views demanded most of our attention.
The sweeping granite walls rise straight out of the sea and provide world class trad climbing with endless opportunity. Temperatures rose and the clouds became less and less the longer we stayed in Lofoten. We quickly ticked off the short list of climbs we were hopeful to sample and began looking for more gems. I was even able to snag a quick redpoint of one of Lofoten’s hardest gear climbs the ¨Minnerisset¨ (¨Memory crack¨).
Eventually exhaustion caught up and we were forced to act like we were actually on vacation. Which came quite naturally aside from the heavy cost of beer (roughly $15 a pint).
Life is good, the rock is dry and the cod are fat (well maybe not the ones I reel in). Its tough to imagine not coming back to this place sometime in my life. For now however its time to move north and follow the slowly setting sun some 200+ miles north of the arctic circle…. in search of more world class rock climbing of course.
I will leave you with a few more from the Lofoten climbing collection.