The highlight of going to Norway, was definitely teaching my women’s ice clinics, BUT i did have a couple of personal climbing adventures thanks to the German climbing team of Heike, Matthias and Tanja; as well as Swedish climber, Hanna-Kajsa.
I was able to rent this great little car/van that had studded tires and enough room for a Canadian female to bivy in the back for the frigid evening temperatures of the Norwegian fjords.
I gratefully met up with Heike, Matthias and Tanja in the Laerdal valley. After a day of driving and hiking around scoping conditions of various climbs we decided on this route called, KJERRSKREDKVELVEN.
Please see the full story of Matthias’ experience here.
In hindsight, 2 teams on this route, was not a recipe for success for the second team. But I was very grateful for the opportunity to climb in the fjords of Norway with a talented female climber like Heike.
I was impressed with the ‘wild’ and varying nature of the ice. We had wet ice, brittle ice, layered ice, sticky ice, hollow ice, styrofoam, fragile, etc. Just like the Inuit’s plentiful vocabulary for snow. There could be a mini-dictionary for Norwegian ice.
Heike attemped a couple different lines on the crux pitch in fading light. Knowing that we still had a long ways to summit and not great protection in out immediate future– thwarted our motivation and we chose to descend–happy to be building good v-threads for our friends–knowing it would help their epic descent greatly.
I am grateful to this German climbing team, especially Heike, for including me in their plans so I didn’t just see Norway’s ice climbs from the valley bottom
LIPTON SANS ICE
I had a day to play after the Women’s climbing seminar with Hanna-Kajsa Fernstrom and we chose to go play on Lipton which was in dry-tooling conditions.
An exciting part of the this climb was leaving the ground and bouldering up about 4-5m of M7?, and then again above some ledges with pro that wouldn’t keep me off the ledge. Even though we didn’t get very far up this route, I really enjoyed the challenges. They pushed me to my limit of comfort, especially after my fall a year ago on traditionally-protected mixed-climbing.
I got up a few more meters from this high point before deciding to retreat. I didn’t have the confidence of finding good protection for either lead falls or rappelling in the viewable future.
I wished one of my bold male friends had been there to tell me that there was good protection ahead.
I had a great day playing with Hanna-Kajsa (who is fun to be with and has a great attitude) on Lipton and the eventually Rjukan Falls (our consolation prize) before leaving “my” beloved country of Norway.