“The Fulufjället National Park is home to many wild creatures, particularly brown bears”, the sign reads. Matt and I exchange that look. You know, that look where you realise you’re in a completely alien country, having just driven nearly seven hours on what seemed to be the same snowy fir tree-lined road, in the hope […]Read more "Njupeskär"
The idea had been floating around all week. The climb had been in the back of my mind for a long time before we flew out to Norway and when we drove up to Krokan on the first day, there it was, drooling out of the head of the upper gorge, savagely steep and unapologetic. […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Seven"
Feeling refreshed this morning after a relaxed day, a long sauna session and an enormous meal yesterday, we headed down into the depths of the upper gorge to tick the classic Rjukanfossen. We’d been led to believe that the approach involved multiple abseils, but in reality it’s a cruisy slope of fifty-degree névé at the […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Six"
“If you want the ultimate, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price.” – Bodhi, Point Break Today, we were privy to a pivotal moment in the history of our sport. The bar has been well and truly raised, new standard of ice climbing has been set and the precedent is now there for […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Five"
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 […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Four"
After the Vemork pipes incident on the walk out yesterday, we decided to continue the theme of combat climbing with a speculative mission into the seldom-visited Lower Gorge. This turned out to be a pretty shocking decision, and after some time spent powder-wading, tripping over concealed branches and logs, and following misleading footprints petering out […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Three"
Matt, Caspian and I headed into the atmospheric Upper Gorge this morning for a rad day of classic-hunting. Ed opted for a day of folding bedsheets at the hostel because he’s a chopper because he took a fall yesterday due to a poorly-fitted crampon and sprained his ankle in the process. Climbing as a three […]Read more "Rjukan: Day Two"
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 […]Read more "Rjukan: Day One"
The ledge was about the size of a single mattress; perhaps a little shorter. Up ahead, the Pointe de Segogne was caked in fresh, unconsolidated snow. I checked my watch. Six-thirty in the evening – it’d be dark within ninety minutes. Misha made the last rappel to join me on the ledge. He was obviously […]Read more "Gritted Teeth"
I arrive back in Chamonix at the start of October, practically frothing at the mouth at the prospect of being back in the mountains. I message everyone I know in the valley to find a partner, but no-one bites. Instead, I spend a frustrating day driving up and down the valley, scoping out conditions on […]Read more "Mileage"