Scaling the Lion
The locals call the mountain on the island Rødøy Lion (Rødøyløva) because of its shape. It’s a dramatic mountain. One side is the lion’s back which gently slopes up until it becomes very steep at the head of the lion. The other side is a precipice, dropping about 450 meters to four picturesque beaches. Actually, to say the mountain drops straight down is an understatement, because the top sticks out further than the middle. The peak is right at the top of the precipice:
I was going to climb it two days ago, but it was so windy (40 knots average wind speed) that I chickened out. I didn’t want to become famous through the headline “Chinese Man Blown Off Rødøyløva in Gale.” Today the weather was beautiful so I decided to give it a shot.
I took the easy route up: along the back of the lion. There’s a steeper route up through the shoulder, which I’ll save for later. I stuffed blueberries in my mouth now and then to keep blood sugar up (made sense to me) and took pictures as I made my way up through dwarf trees, moss, and rocks covered with lichen. Altogether it took me two hours to get to the top — probably could’ve done it in half the time at full speed.
At the top, the view was stunning. As a bonus, four eagles soared around the peak. They circled in a thermal (a column of rising air) next to the cliff to get higher. Then they tumbled down, often as pairs play fighting. I could see no other reason for what they were doing except it was fun.