Lofoten, day 2 continued…
Summer vacation 2016 continued…
In the afternoon, Jan and I decided to hike up to Fløya, despite the fog. I guess those who are not familiar with Lofoten have not heard about this peak before, but it’s the parent mountain to the more famous Svolværgeita pinnacle – locally known as Geita.
While we both wanted to climb Geita, that was not on the agenda on this afternoon, and most likely – not during our short stay in Lofoten either. Perhaps another time…
Anne and Anne-May drove us to the trailhead and went shopping while Jan and I went hiking. The first part of the path was common to Geita and Fløya, and was surprisingly steep and rugged. We had brought Karma with us, but she managed herself just fine…
We had heard about Frosken (the frog) and Djevelporten (Devil’s gate) but didn’t know what or where they were. We assumed the answer to this question would present itself along the way. Because of the fog, we just had to focus to stay on the main path, which we assumed would lead us right to the top.
We passed a group of hikers and they felt uncomfortable about the fog and were making their minds up whether to continue or not. They were under the impression that Fløya was “to the right” and Frosken to the left. This was very given the location, but in retrospect, I understood what they meant.
When we arrived on the ridge, the GPS told us that Fløya was up to the left, and so we went left. A few minutes later, a steep and pointy peak suddenly rose steeply ahead of us.
Going straight up the south side was something I wanted to try as a last resort, so we followed the path past the summit and to the north side. The path seemed to continue down the ridge (north), and at the time we didn’t understand where this path was heading.
This was clearly not terrain for a dog and Jan volunteered to explore the route upwards. A few minutes later he reached the top and said he would try descending on the south side. I took Karma and went back to wait for him. When he joined us, he said that his descent route was the easiest way up. He expressed some minor discomfort about the ascent route.
So it was my turn, while Jan looked after Karma. I went up and stood in front of a slab section which seemed both steep and fairly easy. The problem was that I was not able to reach the critical handholds (Jan is much taller than me) and if I lost the grip, I would almost have a long fall. The tiny ledge I stood on would most likely not arrest a fall.
So I decided to go back down and try from the north side – where Jan had gone up. That route turned out to be a walk in the park for me. This was easy scrambling terrain,and a couple of minutes later I was on top. It’s interesting how we saw this route so differently, but most likely it was solely due to our difference in height!
Back with Jan and Karma, we decided to continue the ridge in direction of Geita. We had seen nothing that seemed to be Frosken or Djevelporten. The ridge had a couple of narrow sections, but I was able to get Karma across without any problems
We met the hikers we passed on our way up and told them that Fløya was scrambling terrain and they decided not to even give it a try. The fog was now gradually lifting and when we reached the point where the ridge dropped steeply down to “Geita”, we could see more and more of Svolvær.
Jan wanted to continue down to Geita, but I was not comfortable with this. The terrain was steep and I had a dog to look after. So we agreed to descend our ascent route. In hindsight, this was probably a good call. A descent towards Geita is not recommended and there have been fatal accidents.
On our way back, we met two young girls with full backpacks. They were looking for a place to spend the night in their hammocks! It was nice to meet two representatives from the young and sporty generation, with so much love for the mountains.
The fog had now completely lifted, and on our way down we could see a distinct rock north of Fløya that we guessed could be Frosken. But where was Djevelporten? We decided to let this question rest and head back down. It turned out that Frosken was the rock we had looked at, and that Djevelporten was just below it. There must have been a fork which we had missed. Which means that you can hike up to Frosken, visit Djevelporten and continue up the north ridge to Fløya. That was what the north ridge path was about.
Back down at the trailhead, the girls were waiting for us – with beer! Let the evening begin!
Trip statistics: 4,9km, 700 vertical meters, 3 hours
Pictures from the hike: