Showing posts from 2014

Brudetrusa (WI4), Oppdal

After a long day and late finish on Kongsvollfossen the previous day we were keen for a slow start and definitely something less ambitious. There was plenty of ice close to the roadside but Brudetrusa was the obvious eye-catcher. It's slim winding line looked striking for the grade and was recommended by the guidebook for climbing during early season whilst thinner. It was after midday by the time we were gearing-up beneath the route but with just a long single pitch of climbing there was certainly less urgency compared to the previous day.

The base of the route was broad, funnelling into a narrow, weaving channel of ice higher up. At times the ice was hard work to find secure placements due to it cracking and dinner-plating. Particularly when featureless and off-vertical. The right side of a broad tier lower down was especially prone to break-up, requiring patience to find some solid placements. As was the very top of the route. My time chalk climbing at Dover had drilled home th…

Kongsvollfossen (WI4), Oppdal

Climbing the full length of Kongsvollfosssen seemed a totally achievable proposition for the darkest weekend of the year...

In truth we didn't really consider climbing the full length until we set eyes on it, at which point it looked too good to refuse. Plus starting the steeper climbing at three pitches from the top just looked like cheating, given the vast amount of ice extending below this point. Our after 9am start was maybe a little bit late for a 400-500m route but I was feeling confident that we would climb the easy angled lower slopes quickly if moving together.

A steep section of ice marked the start of the climb, barely more 100m from the road. I chose an easy line to the far right in order to climb fast. With more time it would have been fun to have climbed a harder, more direct line but my time felt limited. The climbing eased above this point with just a couple of short WI3 steps to overcome. This was fine because the difficulty would be gradually increasing the highe…

Torsetfossen (WI4), Hemsedal

Murilo was keen to maximise the short daylight hours with as much climbing as feasibly possible. Langesetfeltet sounded a sure bet given it's Northerly aspect and high altitude. There looked to be numerous short climbs around 4/4+. Of course we needed the approach road to be open in order to get anywhere near the climbs and as it turned out it wasn't. Nevertheless the morning detour provided some inspiring views of Hydnafossen.

Inspiring view over with, we needed to find a plan B. Luckily formulating plan B's was becoming second nature in recent weeks. I knew Torsetfossen had been climbed around 10 days prior so this seemed like a good choice.

From the car park the route looked to have a couple of really steep sections. With half the walk-in completed the route was still looking rather steep and slightly intimidating. Only when in direct proximity did the line of weakness present. A lower tier had an obvious channel that would hopefully facilitate bridging, whilst the uppe…

Haugsfossen (WI4), Hemsedal

We had lost the best part of a day's climbing due to Murilo's flight from the UK having been delayed as a result of the air traffic control computer failure. He landed on Saturday at 4pm instead of the planned Friday at 11pm but at least this meant a drive to Hemsedal at a sociable hour with no need to sleep in the back of the car on route as originally planned. Sunday morning we were feeling fresh and after my first winter outings the previous weekend I was feeling ready to start ticking some better known classics in the area.
It was another cold day in Hemsedal. Haugsfossen looked in a climbable condition from the road and so begged for a closer view. Fortunately we were not the first to do so this winter meaning there was an easy trail through the snow to the base of the route. Also helped by the reduced snow cover compared to last weekend. The left side of the icefall looked thin but there was an obvious channel of well-formed ice towards the right side. Elsewhere Indre a…

Øvre Lauvdøla (WI3), Hemsedal

Our initial plan was to try the climbs at Botnajuvet but having descended most of the way into the Lauvdøla ravine we decided to switch plans. Partly because there was still a lot of running water running through the ravine and partly because I could sense that Anna was finding the approach a little too protracted, given the amount of snow we were wading through in just our boots. We still needed to cross the water and then ascend back up the other side of the valley, which was looking a big day out currently.

We turned around and ploughed back uphill with the plan to head for the moderate icefall called Øvre Lauvdøla, which was relatively close-by as the crow flies. The problem for non-crows was that we were on the East side of the Lauvdølejuv ravine running North-South and we needed to be on the West side. The ravine also forked a short way south with our climb lying in the far right hand branch. There were no presenting opportunities to cross to the other side due the ravine being …

Bøttnebekken (WI3), Hemsedal

The previous Saturday I had failed to get anything climbed...

The initial plan had been to try Demonstranten on Skogshorn but we had started too late. Getting the car stuck in the snow hadn't helped matters. Then there was the snow, which was deeper than expected. But apart from these mild excuses the main problem was that we had underestimated the time needed for the approach and started far too late. It was already 9am with the start of the route feeling a long way off and the parked car still relatively close. We conservatively opted to bail whilst we still had an alternative and attempt to find some ice in the valley.

...The problem was that we didn't have a plan in reserve and didn't know the area particularly well. We flicked through the guidebook looking for options. Flagetfossen looked a possibility but we couldn't find the route (we were looking to the right of Flagetfeltet rather than to the left). Then we drove to Haugsfossen but the top of the route looked …

Skagastølsryggen (n3+), Store Skagastølstind

Our 1am arrival at Turtagrø wasn't ideal preparation but my first glimpse of the Northern Lights on route had made it all worthwhile. We had originally planned to walk a short way towards the Tindeklub hut that night and camp in its vicinity, however now our thoughts were only concerned with immediate sleep. We promptly pitched the tent a short distance from the car park and crashed out. Four hours later the alarm sounded.

This was my partner Christian's third attempt at Skagastølsryggen, the long northern ridge extending from Store Skagastølstind, which includes the subsidiary peaks of Nordre, Midtre, and Vesle Skagastølstind. With no snow expected on the ridge and a fine weather forecast there was no reason for failure on this occasion in my mind, provided we were committed and organised.

There was little in the way of ascent or descent once the ridge was gained via a loose rocky gentle slope above the Tindeklub hut. Much of the ridge involved easy scrambling, without much …