NUORREK - Discovering the Far North

Sami contemporary NUORREK means '' along the coast '', this sums up the challenge ahead. We Thibault and Loïc, two engineering students, adventurers at heart, and we engage in a unique and new experience, between sea and mountains. Indeed, we would walk along the coast of Finnmark, starting from a Sami village located at the North Cape to the Lyngen Alps in sports catamaran for climbing the Lenangstind Store. The project will begin in June 2019 and will last about fifty days.


In each expedition there is a dark side, logistics. For us, the first step is to bring our sport catamaran to our starting point: Torhop; tiny northern Norwegian port.

So we left Avignon, in southern France, for a journey of 4101 km with a boat behind the car for almost one week. "That's it we are finally on the road!" I entered our destination into the GPS, Thibault laugh, we are only 50 hours of arrival, departure finally ...

After 1 year of preparation we are relieved to go, finally. It sounds almost unreal. It is hard to imagine that in a few days the mercury will struggle to exceed 5 degrees.

The "real start"

A lot of wind, no way to start. We take all these changes to go to meet the Sami people of northern emblematic in this region. We conduct interviews with fishermen, farmers, students and even reindeer. That was our morale.

It is necessary to reorganize all business, watch again and put the boat in the water. The emotion is great and you can feel the wind rushing into the sails. The adventure can begin. Thibault at the helm. We are heading to Neverfjord. It's awesome. We sail on a catamaran in a tiny fjord 400 km above the Arctic Circle. No boats in sight. We say nothing, we appreciate the time.

Thibault still at the helm, the sea begins to dig and gusts are becoming more violent. We're in the thick of it. The feeling of fear of capsizing mixes with adrenaline. Our greatest fear is to desalinate and break something because loading on the ship. Despite this it connects nautical miles, always focused. It goes fast, very fast. We decided to get closer to the coast to find a place to land and rest.

Browsing under the clouds

When we woke up, rather late suddenly, the boat is still there and the wind abated. We small lunch around 14h. It is not very hot and rainy weather but we are thrilled. Hot chocolate, scrambled egg, all with views of the fjord. What more ? A sauna can be ...

Back on the road and are always amazed to navigate in this environment. Through the clouds, the weather is calmer I therefore bar some hours while Thibault takes good time to check the route and the weather.

At the time of finding a bivouac things get complicated ... We find no bank to put a tent. Our standard is lowered and we decide to approach an area that seems flat. At 20m from the edge we realize that it is not at all what we thought ... The clock is ticking, the wind weakens, Thibault looks on GPS but the task is not simple. We finally find a place that after 3 hours will do. Anyway, it is cooked. In the camp, everyone has a role, we have already taken our little old habits. It is more efficient than before. A lyophilized and in bed The next 2 days are held with the same rhythm, but the sun is still not appeared. On the fifth day, the sun finally returns some time to recharge some batteries. This is the time that one chooses to explore a narrow fjord.

The life of a Fjord

After a few hours, you sink into it. It is narrow, the narrowest since the beginning. A few hundred meters. We feel very small. The wonder is total. Besides the wind is in the right direction! However it weakens, too. I begin to row at the front while Thibault handles the bar. It's quiet, it's good. We feel like the Vikings, there is no boat, no roads, no power line.

We live a crazy adventure and take everything from every sound, every image, every sensation. We do not talk much, I even believe that Thibault to tears so emotions are intense. We are happy to be there at that precise moment, happy to be small face a nature that has us shaken but making a truce. bullshit is often said to pass the time but then nothing was said. The fjord narrows increasingly. We are in the middle of the fjord and it's already 4am. It was therefore decided to seek a bivouac for the night. This is our best camp since the beginning of the adventure, we could enjoy all night with a mattress of flowers. It's a little more comfortable than stone ...

According to a fisherman met a few days before, at the bottom of our Fjord glacier flows into the water. So we leave it to see around 22h. We took advantage of sunny to recharge our batteries and even those of the drone. The fjord takes a turn and we finally discover with amazement, a glacier overlooking the water. This is the umpteenth time we have the same discussion: - "It's really beautiful" - "Serious !! It's crazy, it's lucky to be here "It's not very poetic but the emotion was there. We hit the finger at the purpose of the project: the sea and the mountains. This fjord is only natural, we do come across one. We dock and set up camp. Sure, we'll stay there 2 days. We were like kids coming to Disneyland. Fresh water, views breathtaking, wood for the fire, birds tens therefore certainly fish. In short, we will have fun here. It is now 8:30 am and we'll eat our little meal "night" before sleeping.

When our various bivouacs trying to do interviews about ourselves. This allows us to have a logbook and remember full details. It is never easy for the enemy number one audiovisual is water ... Luckily we went sailing in the rain!

After a day of "rest" we decide to don dry suits to go fishing in the middle of the fjord. It is two inexperienced fishermen. Our list is summarized with a few bream and trout in the south of France. The fishermen told us that there were fish everywhere so it should do. I do not have time to go down to the bottom line than I already feel a few keys. It seems that this is a Norwegian Skrei, a type of rare cod, dubbed the "miracle fish". For fishermen Sunday, we were proud and we are almost disappointed that it's so fast! We remember the discussions with the fishermen, "fish everywhere" they said and they were right.

Lyngen Alps - Climbing

Good surprise weather provides some breakthroughs of the sun for our arrival in the Lyngen Alps. The boat finally harnessed, can finally breathe. We just finished the maritime part. Before taking the pitch, repeat all the bags and go as light as possible. We carry just our sleeping bags, our carpets, part of the video material, 6 days of food and of Mountaineering business. Even with all optimized our bags weigh 25 kilos each.

After a half day of preparation, we head towards the first camp marked on the map. The first part is quite laborious because we are in the middle of a huge scree and there is no way. With these charges, unless it can be said that we are not very stable. After 4 hours of walking, we arrive at 500 meters above sea level near a small mountain lake.

We quickly assemble the bivouac, it feels good to not manage the logistics of the boat. Exhausted we fall asleep quickly. We wake up under a blazing sun around 13h. We take the afternoon to film and make the last trails on the map before getting to the glacier. To feel clean before mounting, the lake gives us ideas. It's the coldest water in which was never bathed.

It should not exceed 5 degrees. Time to make a small return to swim, we have less than one minute thirty in the water before to take refuge in sleeping bags for warmth. By late afternoon, after eating we decided to go to 23h around for the snow is good jelly. After about ten minutes of walking, it's time to put on crampons and tying in. Five minutes later, there is a lip against the rocks and takes 2 hours training in the fall crevasse.

This allows us to remember hauling techniques and put us ahead
reflexes to gain efficiency if a problem occurs. Once the training finished, it starts on the glacier and after an hour the fog is completely fallen. Impossible to know where you are going, I can hardly see in front of Thibault. Fortunately before we returned from the coordinates of a place where you could bivouac in our GPS.

With the help of the compass we manage somehow to advance. The climb is quite strange, everything is white and is alternated with benches and very steep slopes. We arrive at the desired location around 6am, we are now at 1000 meters altitude. One probe around the camp to verify that there was no rift. It flattens the field and installing the tent in the middle of a white immensity. We have no idea of ​​what surrounds us, we'll see tomorrow. Once lifted, we finally perceive the landscape that surrounds us. We are in the middle of a huge glacier 2 kilometers wide. In the afternoon, the sun tried a few visits but the sky remains gray. This allows us to briefly explore the summit of Store Lenangsting.

After you check the weather, it was a niche available between midnight and 3 am or the summit should be released. At 23 o'clock we start attempt the ascent in a fog still thick. After an hour of fairly quiet running, the weather cleared and the last face is revealed. Around 1 hour, we attack the last climb and it looks tough. The slope is more than 50 degrees and a bar crevice the way across the width. We identify a sufficiently solid snow bridge to cross. Thibault agrees and spends the crevice without problems; but when I committed it yields.

So I have to find a new place, or pass, which makes us lose some time. The rest of the rise goes without incident and reaches the neck 2.30am. The view is just beautiful. We enjoy the colors of the midnight sun and perceive two different fjords on each side of the neck. We have stunning views across the Lyngen Alps. We take the time to enjoy and film but at 3 o'clock the fog is already up on us.

We still fifty meters on the summit ridge to reach the top but it makes the decision to back down because we do not want to take the risk to do all the way back into the fog with crevices. The tent shows the tip of his nose to 5 am, we are delighted. The summit was not an end in itself, we took a lot of fun to climb and we could enjoy, without doubt, the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen. Here ends our adventure in Norway and we thank all partners and people who have accompanied us in this project. Simply thank you for allowing us to achieve our dreams.