Daniel Woods reached the far end of a sloping rail after nearly 200 feet of climbing, 20 feet from the anchors of Thor's Hammer (5.15a). He shuffled his hands along the rail, using what limited feet were available on the steep roof. Beyond the point of pump, Woods bumped to the rail's high point and clipped the chains, claiming the fourth ascent of the route that is quickly becoming Flatanger Cave's most popular testpiece.
Days before the weather swept in, he took a heartbreaking plunge from the final rail of Thor's Hammer, forcing him to wait until yesterday for dry rock. Woods wrote on Instagram last week, “the rain has been in full effect here in Flatanger. Most things are wet but there a few that are dry.” Ethan Pringle, who is also in Norway, reports on Facebook that steady rain has left Flatanger in “total garbage conditions.”
Pringle and Dave Graham are also hard at work on Thor's Hammer— a monster line bolted by Magnus Midtbø and first climbed by Adam Ondra in 2012.“When we first arrived it seemed like the conditions were going to be primo (cold, dry and windy) all day, but then these low clouds rolled in and the dry wind turned into rainy wind, showering the whole left side of the crag,” Pringle writes. “Luckily Thor's stayed mostly dry (except for the few seepy holds that are always wet at the bottom) and Dave Graham and I both made huge, promising links on the route!”
While Woods was putting his project to bed, Graham turned his attention to The Illusionist (5.14d), an unrepeated line also bolted by Midtbø and first redpointed by Ondra. “Daniel Woods made a super inspiring ascent of the beast rig Thor's Hammer which got the crew all fired up, so I decided to give my secondary proj a proper send burn for the hell of it, and boom, made the 2nd ascent of The Illusionist!” Graham writes on Facebook.
Graham calls The Illusionist “a hard 8B [V13] boulder followed up by a freak 8b [5.13d] route.” Like many other hard routes in Flatanger, the line attacks a tiered roof with five bolts of pure horizontal climbing off the ground.
With the send train back on track, Graham writes, “The race against time has been on since day one, which means even if the weather is not cooperating we have to go a muerte every chance we get.”
Pringle and Graham continue their siege on Thor's Hammer, gunning for the fifth and sixth ascents.
Watch Adam Ondra on the first ascent of The Illusionist: