Fay Manners, Freja Shannon discover 'How not to' on Senja in Norway
Alpinists Fay Manners and Freja Shannon have made the first ascent of 'How not to' (M5, 250m) on the north face of Grytetippen on the island of Senja in Norway.
Fay Manners and Freja Shannon have made the first ascent of How not to on the north face of Grytetippen on the island of Senja in Norway. The bold 250m M5 follows a series of snow gullies, iced corners and steep caves. The pair was forced to retreat just beneath the summit due to unfrozen moss and turf that had melted in the afternoon sun. The route was climbed with trad gear and the only gear left in-situ was at the belays used for the abseils. While the mountain’s south face is a relatively popular ski touring peak, this is likely to be the first technical winter climb on the steep north face.
Writing to planetmountain.com, Manners explained "We originally tried something on the east face but found the climbing was rock slabs covered in powder, there weren’t any inspiring lines in condition. So we switched our attention to the north face to try something that had a more continuous line.
We named the route "How not to" because of our experience in learning how to find and put up a new winter mixed route in Norway. With harsh conditions ranging from snow storms one minute to -19 another, climbing a new route in Senja certainly wasn’t easy!
When we tried to climb the east face we were covered in spindrift, trying to onsight a route with cracks covered in snow. It was impossible to see each other let alone the possible protection above! On our attempt of the North face we focused on selecting a good weather day so that we had more of a chance of success!
Finding a line to climb is an art form in itself. We really had to focus on not looking for the hardest line on this unfamiliar mountain but instead look for the line of least resistance! Our main learning was to not to have a preempted idea about where to go on the mountain, but to go where the climbing takes you."
Writing to planetmountain.com, Shannon said “What we learned during this trip was what made it so much more than just climbing. The confidence gained in ourselves and with each other is invaluable and we can't wait to apply this to our future climbing objectives. Once again, persevere always wins!”
Manners thanks: The North Face, Petzl, Totem, SunGod
Shannon thanks: Mountain Equipment, Petzl, SunGod, Moonvalley, FatMap