The Next Best Thing

3 Stars

Adjacent Routes
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The slightly easier climb of the pair on the actual French Pillar is seven pitches long and on great rock. It starts on the left and crosses to the nose higher up. The third and fourth pitches are particularly good, up unlikely soaring jamming grooves. Above the terrace, three long pitches lead up fine cracks to the crest of the buttress. Above the technical climbing is another 200m of N3 scrambling on poorly protected slabs - not a good place to be in the wet.
FA. Odd-Roar Wiik, Adam Stack 2005.


A brilliant route, on solid granite. We were actually surprised by the quality of the rock, which goes from good to super good. A few loose blocs in some places, but I guess it does not see that many people (although we encountered a micro-cam which seemed blend new). You have to look for your way up as there is almost no description of the line.

Pitch 1 & 2 would be grade 6, with only a few delicate moves (technical face climbing). These 2 pitches are not super easy to protect, but still safe. I think these 2 pitches of 50m would match with pitch 1 to 3 on the picture of the topo. You do the 2nd belay under the set of corners that you can see from below.

Pitch 3 & 4 (4 and 5 on the topo) are brilliant, much more sustained. They would be 6+. On the third pitch you tackle the thin corners : we passed the third one on the left, eventually moving to the fourth one on the left at the end of the pitch, before coming back to the right on a small terrace. The 2 corners on the right might be okay as well, although a bit thinner and wet when we were there. On the fourth pitch, you climb a loose corner, passing it to the right with nice athletic moves, before encountering a wonderful overhanging corner on sheer granite which seem a way harder than it is (really secure hand jamming). This corner leads you to the huge half way terrace splitting up the route.

On the topo it says that there are 2 pitches above this ledge, but I would think that there is at least 160m. We made it on 3.5 long pitches. The face gets less steep, following a series of superb cracks on orange granite on the fil of the pillar: superb climbing, although it is way easier (grade 4 with some passages of 5).

On the top of the pillar, you need to scramble up for 200m of poorly protected slabs (grade 3 I would say, still feel like climbing in some places): be aware if it’s wet, it might turn out to be the crux of the route. We were doubting to go the day before just after the rain as the pillar is quite fast to dry, it would have been a pretty bad idea.

The descent from the top is easy.
Nicolas - 25/Aug/15

On the upper part (above the ledge), the grades are not correct : it's more like 5-, with some pasages of 5 and maybe 5+.
The slab might be grade 4 in some places...
Nicolas - 25/Aug/15

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