3 August 2016

Svolværgeita: Jumping the Goat's Horns

If the first words that just came in to your head were never in a million years, then you are probably in good company.  The Svolværgeita mountain in Norway was first climbed just a little over a century ago in 1910.  Yet since then a tradition has emerged among the mountaineering fraternity: those who reach the goat’s horns jump them. Because they can.

The town of Svolvær in Norland County nestles below the mountain. It is situated in Lofoten (which we have visited before on Kuriositas) on the south coast of Austvågøy, and faces open sea to the south with the mountain directly to the north.   It is easy to see where the goats horns got their name. There are two spiky rocks which only the most experienced rock climbers can (safely) reach.

The first picture above is from the early 1900s when the mountain was first conquered, followed by a photograph of how the same scene looks today.  You can just about make out the goat’s horns on the left side of the mountain, about two thirds of the way up. From down below it looks tiny.

Yet when you get close up like this your realize the enormity of the goat's horns.

You could easily argue (and many would agree) that the heights of Svolværgeita should be considered strictly for the birds. Even the local sea birds seem content just to look up at the mountain.  Yet when you get up there, it offers quite the view…

Image Credit Flickr User Gauteh
Image Credit Flickr User Henrikj
Image Credit NFK

First Image Credit Flickr User Cascade Hiker