Andy Kirkpatrick - Live Blogging from the Troll Wall
- Monday 26 September 2011
'Basically the Troll wall is the Eiger for big wall climbers, although
set upside down (the Eiger is a slab), and much looser!'
Andy Kirkpatrick is currently in Norway attempting a bold solo of the notorious 1,100m Troll Wall – the tallest vertical rock face in Europe. He's blogging each day from the wall, giving a fascinating insight into the mechanics of climbing such a large wall on your own, and just what this means: climbing and cleaning each pitch yourself, hauling the bags on your own, and so on.
The route Andy is attempting is the Suser gjennom Harryland (VI A3 5.10b, 600m 18 pitches), which was first climbed in 1996. The wall, notorious for the loose quality of the rock, is rarely climbed in summer since major rock falls in 1998 and 2003. Early on his climb Andy witnessed an enormous block fall down an adjacent gully:
'To make matters worse just before I’d got to the ledge I’d seen a ship container sized block fall down the back off the troll (500 metres away). I heard it falling (imagine the sound of a small house falling half a mile), then saw the huge detonation as it hit the rock slabs. Very impressive, but I guess you can see how it didn’t inspire confidence in the permanence of even 2 ton blocks up here.'
He's making good progress, despite having to repair his ropes with gaffa tape.
Follow his blog for more updates.
We'll publish Andy's new book Cold Wars in early October, and he'll sign all copies for pre-orders when he returns.
He's also touring the UK in November and December. Find out more on the Speakers from the Edge website.