Rjukan: Day Four

We tried to have a short day today as we all felt pretty knackered after a few long days and late nights. Unfortunately, our plan failed.

We headed over to the Bølgen area of the valley for some shortish multi-pitch classics, with Ed and Caspian’s sights set on the area’s namesake route, Bølgen, and Matt and I heading for the adjacent route To Menn Og Et Foster, a catchy little name that really rolls off the tongue…

Matt coming up the first pitch of To Menn Og Et Foster.
Matt coming up the first pitch of To Menn Og Et Foster.
Myself and Matt on To Menn Og Et Foster as seen from Bølgen. Photo by Caspian James.
Myself and Matt on To Menn Og Et Foster as seen from Bølgen. Photo by Caspian James.

The guidebook describes each of these routes as four pitches, but there is absolutely no way you could do either of them in fewer than six. Conditions on the route were pretty good but rather melty in places, with the steep pillar at half-height on To Menn Og Et Foster dripping profusely.

Matt at the top of the half-height pillar on To Menn Og Et Foster. Photo by Caspian James
Matt at the top of the half-height pillar on To Menn Og Et Foster. Photo by Caspian James

After six full rope length pitches, the angle leans back and while there are still small icefalls further up, to continue up to them would be a pretty convoluted affair with more boulder hopping than climbing. According to the guide, the route ends here so we started the descent and were back the ground in five rappels in about an hour.

Finally reaching the sun at the penultimate belay.
Finally reaching the sun at the penultimate belay.
"Bet you've never seen this pro abseil setup!"
“Bet you’ve never seen this pro abseil setup!”

When we reached the ground, we could see the others just starting their first rappel, 250m above us. Matt and I, being the top lads we are, took the car and drove back to the hostel, abandoning the others to their fate.

Back at the hostel, we indulged in a bit of rehab in the form of some strong coffee and a lot of marzipan, then drove back to the Bølgen parking to pick the others up. The descent took them a long time and sounded eventful, owing to Ed’s sketchy ankle and a stuck rope, but all is well.

Perhaps not as restful as we’d have liked, but a good day out nonetheless.

Beal ropes: now in block form.
Beal ropes: now in block form.
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