Showing posts from November, 2016

Botnajuvet Trilogy

It took me three attempts to reach the base of the climbs in Botnajuvet. Largely because of the approach notes in the Hemsedal Ice guide sent me on a wild goose chase. It advised me to descend into the nearby gorge of Lauvdøla, follow this for 100m downstream to the junction with Botnajuvet, and then follow this upstream for 200m up until the ice routes at its head were reached.

If first you don't succeed...
I first tried to reach Botnajuvet two years ago with Anna. We made a few attempts at trying to descend to the base of the Lauvdøla gorge via different ways but soon got cold feet (metaphorically). Partly because the audible running water at the bottom of the gorge and partly because the icefalls we were aiming for looked worryingly far away. Deep snow on the approach to the gorge and no snowshoes had also cost us time. We decided to cut our losses and instead climb the short icefall at Øvre Lauvdøla.

If first you don't succeed, try again
The second attempt was two weeks ago…

Pastorale Først Sats (M3+), Skurvefjell

I missed virtually all of last winter due being totally wiped out by fatigue. Much of 2016 has been a slow recovery and for a long period I suspected moderately serious winter climbing might be a thing of the past for me. I've really improved in recent months but a steady return to winter climbing was naturally top priority. Plus I was happy just to be climbing anything at the start of winter so the psych for harder stuff wasn't there. No doubt that will change as I take my health and fitness more for granted.
After a big dump of snow last weekend together with strong winds I was hoping that there would be some favourable mixed conditions after a week of consolidation. I wasn't expecting much ice up high after such a dry autumn so it seemed sensible to stick to something that didn't rely on ice formation to meet the grade. Pastorale Først Sats on Skurvefjell Vest looked a good route to cut my teeth on as it was only 120m high and described as well-protected in the su…