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Norway 2008

Date: Feb 2008
Submitted by: Sandra Kennedy

4 of us originally planned to head to Rjukan (Bill, Alan & Andrew T and Sandra K) for the annual ice climbing trip; this dropped to three when Andrew broke his hand playing rugby and nearly dropped to two with Alan suffering the effects of a nasty flu on the day of travel.

On day 1 we opted for the multi pitch classic “Kvita” W3, the ice was perfect with Bill and Alan taking alternate leads and finishing with a running belay. A quick look at the time surprised us and we decided to abseil off, collect our rucksacks and reached the car as dusk set in.

All agreed that a softer option was required for day 2 and we headed for the single pitch routes at Ozimosis, both leading and top roping various grades. The ice was thin in many areas and by lunchtime the hordes were moving in. We finished early, headed off for coffee and to check other routes.

A big thaw quickly set in, with temps rising from -8 up to 8 degrees and well established routes began to melt increasing the risks of falling ice. The big thaw also saw us rehoused as our lodgings were badly flooded –no access to kitchen, lounge or toilets.

Day 3 was spent touring the neighbouring towns, giving Alan a chance to try and recover from the flu and Bill an opportunity to lament the shocking lack of interest in the group to see the biggest cup in the world which is built in the shape of a hen……..I guess we were just chicken.

That evening we also talked to one of the climbers in the hostel who was injured whilst climbing a W5 multi pitch – large sections of melting ice broke off from the top of the climb and a piece bounced off his shoulder –he will mend but the injury was very painful and a reminder of the risks in this sport.

The rising temperatures also affected our ability to climb on day 4 as we headed to the lower gorge – beautiful climbs were turning to waterfalls before our eyes. Alan sussed a nice line though (appeared to be unclimbed from the book) and gracefully offered the lead to myself, a W2 which I called Chasing Waterfalls. We will check this later.

Not as productive a trip as we had hoped but over all still enjoyed the experience and the good company. Once again we survived another ice climbing trip.

Photo of Route