THE BIG TROLL WAS ANGRY!
On Thursday July 11th 2013, 44 years and 4 days after their epic near-death experience on the Fiva Route on Store Trolltind in Romsdal in Norway (described in Gordon’s best-selling book ‘Fiva‘), Gordon and his twin brother John returned to the exit ‘hole’ at the top of the route with climber/reporter Iver Gjelstenli and guide Bjørn Bergsvik. (We had tried on our return to Romsdal in 2009, exactly 40 years after our Fiva epic, but had been thwarted by the weather. See photo gallery)
They then completed the climb to the summit of the mountain from the top of the Fiva Route (which, because of Gordon’s injury, they had not managed to do 44 years earlier). Although these final 500 feet were not technically difficult, it was steep and rather loose. The summit area is a surprisingly big triangular plateau on an incline so that the views are hidden until the very end … at the apex, which is quite stupendously exposed on the north and east sides.
After we’d had a bite to eat, and visited Arne Randers Heen’s legendary minute summit ‘cabin’ (just room for one person to sleep, lying horizontal) John took some amazing movie footage with his GoPro helmet camera. (These may take a while to load because they’re massive files):
But perhaps the Trolls were angry, because it came at a price! As a direct result of his poor eyesight, Gordon was badly affected by vertigo near the summit, something that had never happened before in 47 years of climbing.
On the most dangerous part of the descent, Gordon had to make two abseils and on each nearly passed out. During the remaining four hours of the descent he was having frequent dizzy spells with vomiting.
But we still had a long way to go … a 3000 foot descent of snow fields and then very rough scree of over four kilometres …
On the descent I decided (because of my eyesight problem, a macular pucker which gives me double vision and can cause vertigo on steep and difficult ground) that this would be my last serious mountain. A fitting conclusion to 47 years mountaineering.
Iver and Bjorn were absolutely superb throughout, and got us safely back to the road after a 13-hour round trip.
See also our collective photo galleries of the ascent …
… and the article Iver Gjelstenli wrote about it in the Romsdals Budstikke, 13 July 2013: ‘Back at Ugla Skar 44 years later’: