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Rjukan, Norway trip

Date: March 2005
Submitted by: Bill LeClerc-Gigot

Day One.

Alan and I did six, yes SIX, routes in Area A (Krokan) including the magnificent Fyrstikka (V), pictured.[1]

Routes in this area can quite easily be top-roped and this practice was quite common, almost de rigueur. James and Paul clocked up a similar hit rate.

Day Two.

We all spent a very enjoyable day on Kvitaa (IV) and Kvitaa Ost (IV) - Area E. I got to bag a nice "chandelier" pitch and we did six pitches in all. James and Paul kept going long enough to provide a slight frisson of unease but turned up well before we became truly alarmed. I think Alan looks particularly Nordic in this picture.[2]

Day Three.

Area B (Strikkhopping). Alan led Sir Psyko (IV) (should have been James) and a thoroughly unpleasant little route it turned out to be. Had to abseil off after top pitch came crashing down round Alan's ears. As a morale booster we determined to do the first pitch of Tungtvann (V) and ended up doing the whole route in four pitches, with Alan finishing a serious and delicate top pitch in fine style. Probably the highlight of the trip.[3]

James and Paul did every possible climb and variation in the Swingfoss (IV) area.

Day Four.

Rest day for Alan and me. The indefatigable Psychlone and his sidekick went skiing. Paul insisted on doing a black run having learned how to turn but not how to stop. The concussion seemed to wear off after a couple of hour’s sleep and half a bottle of vodka.

Day Five.

Area E. Paul and James concentrated in the sports climbing section while Alan and I did a four-pitch route that conveniently runs through a forest, cutting off a loop in the road leading to the ski resort - Armeningsjernfossen (III). The topography of this route means one walks downhill from the car to the start and downhill again from the finish. Nice. We also managed to squeeze in Svada (III) and a couple of lines on Ozzimosis (V).

Day Six.

We all did Vermorkbrufoss Ost (IV), an excellent climb back in Area B - Strikkinghopping. I took the first pitch and Alan led the second in his usual inimitable style, contrasting with my own which has now been characterised as "BCUL", or "barely controlled upward lurching". James and Paul followed. A crusty and venerable ice warrior (famous, but his name escapes me) commented on Paul's fine style. Not bad for someone who has only been ice climbing for six days! See photo.[4]

Day Seven.

Alan and I did a pitch each of Fabrikkfossen (III/IV), on Ronnie's recommendation, before deciding enough was enough and just managed to bag a coffee and a bun before the cafe closed. It afforded us this spectacular view of the town.[5] James and Paul went back to Area A to strut their stuff at the Ice Fest, which was now in full swing.


A great trip and there is still huge potential we didn't even get time to consider. Should be high on every Colmciller's hit list for next year. Let's get about ten or a dozen of us out there and really give the place a good seeing to. [6]

Photo of Route