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  • Niklas

Godfather of all couloirs

The crack on right side of summit is the couloir

Saw a steep and narrow Southfacing 700vertm. crack down from Trollvasstinden west summit. Checked for information about it online, if it been ridden or if its possible to ride it, but didnt found anything. The couloir looked rideable from the road, really exposed but durable.

Monday 11 april-16 i gave it a try and succeeded to climb and ride it, it was the most intense and challenging couloir i done.

Valtteri and me started at mid day to ski direction Isskaret, we started at mid-day cause weather should clear up on afternoon. It was quite long approach, first kilometer by foot until we reched the snowlevel, after that we had few kilometers in easy uphill on rotten snow.

Well at the bottom of the crack I didnt now how the snowconditions was in the couloir, cause in bottom of Isskaret it was all windblown hardpack but higher up it looked liked there could be some good snow, so i decided to give it a try to climb it up from bottom. Instead to rappel in from the top. The hardest part was emmediately in the bottom of the couloir, where was a 8 meter high icefall.

With mental support and cheerings from Valtteri i succeeded to solo climb the icefall. After that it was a little bit easier with few more couple meter high icefalls to climb.

Easier part of icefall climb done

The steepness was all the time between 45-55 degrees and only a couple of places where you could take protection of sluff. Falling was not a option. The snow was dry and much better then i expected.

Almost half way up

When i finally reached the top and realized that the weatherforecast had failed and the weather just got worse., i speeded up with changing the gears to be able to ride down before the snowfall and wind became stronger. The visibility on top was really poor, but the cliffs on the side gave contrast to ride.

The run down was 700 vert meter of sluff managment. It also came a lot of sluff from the snow the wind brought in from the glacier above. I took it really carefully when the safespots was so few and the widness of the couloir varieted between 1,5-5 meter.

500vert more to go

There was a couple of obligatory cliffdrops in the middle of couloir, where the iceaxes was to big help to brake the speed after landing.

Half way down the couloir, 2nd drop

100 vert before the outrun was two obligatory rappels. Cause 60meter rope was not enough to do all in one rappel. I had with me a piece of birchwood what i made to anchor for the first rappel thrue a 1meter wide gully.

Directly after was the secound rappel over the icefall, i "luckily" found a "friend" in a crack from some climber(or skier), what i used and could save my own icescrew.

First rappel thrue the gully where my board couldnt fit thru

Rappel of the icefall

The last meters after icefall was just relaxed couloir cruising down to bottom. where the snow fast got worse. I met up again with Valtteri in Isskardet valley, meanwhile he had been riding a couloir in the opposite side of the valley on Sofiatinden north face.

When i didnt found any name on it i decided to call it the Godfather of all couloirs, according to its friend on the opposite side of the fjord. Would grade the couloir ED(Extremely difficult) and wouldnt reccommend it before you know that snowconditions are really good.

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