Climbing at Häggsta with Anna

_MAL1156.jpg, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

Yesterday we managed only a few climbs before having to return to civilization. So today, Anna and I returned to the wilderness for some more close encounters with the rock. This time, we biked to Häggsta — I with my giant backpack full of climbing gear. I think the ride to the cliff was a harder workout than the climb!

_MAL1127.jpg, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

We still don't have a decent guide to the climbing in the area (they're out of print!). So we fumbled around a bit, trying a tricky route we later learned is called den omöliga väggen, or the impossible wall. Impossible, I'm sure it's not; but it was definitely too difficult for us today. We'll have to try that one again someday. Next we tried to lead Bilbo's Arête, but learned halfway up that the bolts only go halfway up. Oops. Luckily, another climber on his way down an adjacent route helped up retrieve our last quick-draw from the rock.

_MAL1132.jpg, originally uploaded by Michael A. Lowry.

By coincidence, we ran into Patrick, Isabelle and Lina on the rock. They were doing some traditional climbing; it looked like they were having fun, and with their trad gear, they were able to lead routes we couldn't. Patrick is the one who helpfully informed us of the dearth of bolts on the route we had been attempting.

With time and sunshine running out, Anna and I packed up the rope and scrambled up a crack in the rock to look for other top-rope anchors at the cliff edge. We found a really good route there. It begins with some cracks, a boulder sticking out from the cliff, and a little overhang. Then there's a gently sloping cliff straight up to the anchor. Anna and I both agreed it was a lot of fun and we plan to return to that route soon. It was almost exactly 30 meters tall, perfect for my new 60 m rope.

Häggsta is obviously meant for traditional climbing. There aren't enough bolts in the rock for bolted lead climbing. You gotta have your own protection to stick in the rock, because even where there are bolts, they are too far apart for comfort. I still haven't taken a trad climbing course, and don't plan to put my life on a piece of pro until I've gotten proper instruction in the device's use. I gotta take a trad climbing course soon so I can get more out of Häggsta.

I have posted 19 photos from today's climbing.

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