Rjukan: Day One

We crashed into the bunks at 3am, barely conscious and set the alarms to go off a mere five hours later. Before long the unapologetic bark of the alarm reverberated inside our heads. The excitement of being in the ice-filled paradise that is the sleepy Norwegian town of Rjukan didn’t take long to wake us up.

A plan was hatched for a cruisy day at Krokan – it wasn’t long before we remembered it was a Saturday and that all the classic lines would consequently be crawling with people.

Conditions overall were good, though the more popular lines (Bullen, Kjokkentrappa, Jomfrua) were super hacked-out. We wandered around in search of a free line before Matt settled on a lead of Kjokkentrappa to start the day. I’d led it last year, but the nature of ice is such that it was really a completely different climb today.

Matt heading up a fat Kjokkentrappa
Matt heading up a fat Kjokkentrappa.

Disgruntled with the prospect of having to queue for routes, we decided to sack Krokan off and head to Vemork Bridge.

Vemorkbrufoss Ost and Vemorkbrufoss Vest, a pair of imposing bullies flanking the impressive Vemork Bridge itself, had been in my sights for a while. We decided to head up Vemorkbrufoss Ost to start with. This provided a great couple of pitches with sustained interest throughout. In the end we didn’t have time for Vemorkbrufoss Vest (and it also looked pretty intimidatingly sustained), but one to go back for later in the week, maybe.

Caspian tackling the steep second pitch of Vemorkbrufoss Ost.
Caspian tackling the steep second pitch of Vemorkbrufoss Ost.
Me, just exiting the last of the difficulties on the second pitch of Vemorkbrufoss Ost. Photo by Caspian James.
Me, just exiting the last of the difficulties on the second pitch of Vemorkbrufoss Ost. Photo by Caspian James.
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