Ice Climbing in Norway - Rjukan & Aurland

Course Overview

Next winter are two different Norwegian ice venues at which you can experience a wide variety of icefall climbing. The bases in Norway will be Rjukan and Aurland. Both are easily accessed from the UK by air to either Oslo/Torp for Rjukan or Bergen for Aurland, plus an onward journey by road.

For these courses I am teaming up with Richard Bentley of Mountain Motion. Richard regularly works on my CIC Hut winter courses in Scotland. Between us we hope to offer a quality experience.

Rjukan

Easy approaches, lots of mid-grade ice, ideal for beginners and intermediate icefall climbers. A good place to make the most of your visit. Ratio 1: 2 or 3

Rjukan Ice Climbing

Aurland - Laerdal

Big adventurous routes and plenty of unclimbed ice. Not as busy as Rjukan and not much in the way of guidebooks. It is important to be able to climb Scottish winter V and WI IV with some ease, in order to get the most out of this area. The base will be in Aurland.Ratio 1:2

Aurland

 

Course Details

Costs: £1,100 (5/6 days climbing) 1:2 ratio or £800.00 each 1:3 Ratio (Easier Grades)

Ratio: 1: 2 or 3

Dates

13th - 20th &  27th January: (Sunday starts) Rjukan

9th - 16th & 23rd February (Saturday starts) Aurland

 

Sample Programme

The courses will be tailored to suit the wishes of those taking part. Teaching techniques and attempting climbs which match the abilities of participants is important. Some lead climbing can be offered,  assuming conditions and fitness and ability are suitable. Enjoyment and learning, with some challenges are key to the programme. Icefall climbing is not all about overhanging icy canopies, thankfully!

Description

NB: Two or three people are required for courses to run. If you cannot find a partner it may be possible to match individuals for the course.

What does this include? Accommodation in a self-cater apartment/chalet. Serviced accommodation can be provided at extra cost, please ask for details.All of the instructor/guides expenses and in course travel, plus airport transfers*. All ropes and climbing protection.

*Airport transfers will be provided by arrangement

What is not included: Food unless you would prefer us to purchase in advance. Both locations have good food stores and the prices are on a par with the UK. Flights and travel climbing insurance. Insurance with The BMC or similar cover is essential.

Experience Required: The introductory courses would suit people with some previous Scottish winter climbing experience, but not to a high grade. For more advanced ascents, Scottish grade IV/V would be a good entry level. The courses are flexible to allow for a variety of experience. Please make a point of outlining clearly, previous routes climbed in the UK when filling in the booking form. The steepness, severity and quality of alpine icefalls are different from Scotland and purely on frozen waterfalls. Access is often short. Good physical preparation is important. The ice can be hard and brittle in consistency and good sharp equipment is essential. Appropriate gear is available for course members to hire, although we do encourage clients to use their own if possible. A previous booking must be made to hire equipment. The routes range from short to long (ten pitches) and are of all grades of difficulty.

Equipment: Ice Climbing Kit This is essentially our Scottish kit list. Stiff boots (B3) and crampons (C3) are essential, along with good warm clothing

........"Rjukan is considered one of Europe’s best areas for ice climbing.Over 140 ice ‘waterfalls’ and an especially long and stable winter season makes for very attractive conditions for climbers from around the world.
Rjukan Hytteby has become the main centre for climbers because of its proximity to both climbing areas and town centre. Here you’ll meet fellow climbers from all over Europe"......

This is how a local tourist website Rjukan Ice Climbing in Norway describes the area. Also, this location has become extremely popular for introducing climbers of all abilities to the varied levels of climbing available.
 

Kit Requirements

Winter Kit List

Boots

Boots
For Climbing in winter it is recommended to have a stiff soled, non-bendy B3 boot in either plastic or leather. For the mountaineering and introductory course, a solid leather B2 boot is adequate. Please check in a climbing shop before arrival. Boots can be hired by prior arrangement. If hiring please check the size you take at a climbing shop beforehand. One pair of thick socks is adequate, but often an additional thinner pair is more comfortable. Boots should not be very flexible or smooth soled.

Crampons

Crampons
Crampons should be ten or twelve pointers with front points. Clip-on crampons are very easy to fit on some boots, whilst traditional strap-on models are okay, but less easy to fit in cold windy conditions. A more rigid twelve point crampon is better for winter climbing. Anti-balling plates are recommended. Ask for advice if you are unsure.

Ice Axe

Ice Axe
For walking or general mountaineering an axe of 60/65cm is adequate. Climbing requires a shorter hammer and axe (50cm) with either an inclined (Banana) or drooped pick. A wrist loop should be fitted to climbing tools.

Harness
Not required for the introductory course. Please make sure the harness fits over thick clothing and can be put on over boots and crampons. Adjustable leg-loops are preferable for ease of fitting. The Black Diamond 'Bod' harness is very good in this respect.

Helmet

Helmet
All courses please bring one along if you can.

Long sling and two large karabiners (screwgate - HMS) Climbing and mountaineering courses.
Belay plate & screwgate karabiner (HMS) Climbing course only.

Waterproof jacket

Waterproof jacket and over trousers ( Outer shell clothing)
The trousers should have at least a knee length zip enabling them to be fitted over boots/crampons. This is an essential point to remember especially if you are hiring plastic boots. Take your waterproofs into a shop which sells plastic boots and try the boots on, then try and put on your over trousers. Lightweight waterproofs are often inadequate under severe winter conditions. A large hood with visor is essential for the jacket.

Rucsac
A medium volume sac (50/55 litres) is best for winter, with ice axe carrying loops. Please bring a strong plastic rucsac liner to keep the contents dry.

Bivvy Bag

Bivvy Bag
A large person sized poly survival bag is the minimum requirement, essential.

Gaiters
Essential for all courses.

Head Torch

Head Torch
Essential for all courses, plus spare battery and bulbs.

First Aid kit

First Aid kit
A small personal pack including medication for blisters. Sunscreen cream for April courses.

Compass/Map
(sheet 41 & 34- 1:50,000) Whistle/Watch
The map should be weather-proofed in a clear plastic bag or covered with clear fablon (better) Essential.

Flask

Flask & Small sandwich Box
For hot drinks and food on the hill, essential.

Warm clothing
Warm woollen/fleece mitts (Dachsteins), hat/balaclava/socks (plus spares). Two sets of thermals/fleece, top and bottom and breeches/tracksuit trousers (not cotton). Down/feather duvet jackets aren't much use in the damp conditions sometimes experienced in Scotland!

Please indicate requirements before arrival (especially footwear) and ask for advice if you are unsure of your own equipment suitability (shell clothing is important) . If you arrive with the wrong kit it could jeopardize your safety and enjoyment on the course. Please ask for advice, especially if you are unused to Scottish weather conditions. Please keep this kit list if you book onto a course.

Travel

Rjukan easily accessed from the UK by air to Oslo/Torp. Aurland - Laerdal is accessed by a flight to Bergen, plus an onward journey by road. *Airport transfers will be provided within the fee by arrangement.