Monday, 26 February 2007

Norway 18th - 24th Feb

Better late than never..... here is my Blog for our Rjukan trip.

8 of us headed for Oslo torp on Sunday 18th Feb.
Hertz decided they would give us a car upgrade. 2 Volvo estate cars were loaded with rucksacks, and alcohol...lots of it - 3 hours later we were in Rjukan.

Monday morning dawned with Glenn hanging out of the Cabin trying to be sick!
Once everyone was ready we headed for the upper gorge. 4 of us headed for Trappfoss WI4 . which was a great route to get the ball rolling.
On our return to the Carpark we bumped into the rest of the gang. I looked at Glenn in a bemused way and asked him why he was wearing jeans and trainers. His reply was he got lost on the 15min walk in. We had turned right at the bottom of the gorge but Glenn had turned left! He had fallen through the ice and got a good soaking, hence his return to the cabin and a change of clothing.
After lunch we all headed for the Krokan area and climbed a number of routes. The most memorable for me was when I fell off a route called Topp WI5 - Liam (who was supposedly belaying me) was taking Photo's! I fell half the length of the route....the Numpty.

Tuesday and 4 of us headed for the Upper Gorge again - I think the other 4 headed for the lower Gorge. Me and Liam did Nye Vemorkfoss WI5 and Karl and Graham did Sabotorfossen WI5
Back at the Car we waited for Karl and Graham, but to no avail, so we headed for Tungtvann WI4. By the time we got up the first pitch I saw Karl and Graham heading for the same route.
We drove the Car around to the top road and picked them up once they had finished. The temp was showing -9c in the car - the drink flowed well that night!

Wednesday Morning and Karl decided not to climb after having had a bad night suffering from the Flu. So 7 of us..... yes thats right 7 - Me, Glenn, Graham, John, Liam, Scott and Steve headed for Rjukanfossen WI4. Graham led of first with John in tow. Liam drew the short straw and got Glenn and Steve. I took Scott up. Thinking back, the two novies shouldn't have been on a rope of three. Glenn's crampon came off twice, and the pair of them looked frightened - much to the amusement of me (sorry lads) . On the third pitch there is a chockstone which must be climbed, I have never laughed so much on a climbing trip (EVER) watching Glenn and Steve fall off on those final chockstone moves.

The climbing, lack of sleep, too much drink and by now -14c conditions, was taking it's toll on me, so we headed for the fantastic Rjukan swimming pool. I held the record for the fastest descent (7.2 secs) of their water slide. The most bizarre thing was sitting outside in the hot tub at -14c. We then headed to Rjukan Hytteby for some rather large looking food, our eyes were definitely bigger than our bellies - so much so I didn't sleep a wink that night, due to consuming too much food.

Thursday morning and Karl was still under the weather. I wanted to try somewhere different so me and Liam headed for Kong Vinter. The rest of the lads went to the Lower Gorge (I think) again. After a 45 mins slog in 1 metre deep snow we were at the abseil area for Kong Vinter. Once you abseil in you MUST climb back out as it's like a huge amphitheatre. We headed for a Route called King Kong. Liam fancied a crack at leading this so he set off, but it soon became apparent that the ice was very brittle and huge lumps of ice were crashing down the crag - crampons just wouldn't stick and sheered the ice at every kick. I got up to the base of the pillar and we decided to give it a miss. We abseiled off to the base of the route and crossed over to
Kong Vinter WI4. I set off expecting to run the pitch out for 60m with ease, but it soon became apparent that this sod had a sting in it's tail. After about 5om on near vertical ice, I started to get serious hot aches in my right hand and I felt like I was getting frost bite. Having now totally run out of steam my left crampon took flight with me following. Luckily I held the fall with my left axe.....thank £%*$.
Once at the belay I started to bring Liam up, but after about 10m I heard him shouting. I thought he said tight, but he was saying slack on yellow.....the daft sod had chopped straight through one of our ropes!! Epic day. Back to the Hytteby and we all had another huge feast, then it was bed without any drink for me (the week was catching up on me).

Friday morning we had to get the log cabin into shape, then we headed into town for breakfast. 4 of the other's headed into the lower gorge for a final route.
We set of for Oslo at 12:00 with heavy snow in the south.

Top trip :)

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Ben Nevis Garadh Gully II / III

The Ben kicked Arse today!!

Well, my enthusiasm for a steep ice route was dashed this morning. 6 of us arrived at the CIC Hut, and it was blowing it's socks off. Lots of teams turned around and went home.
We decided to do Garadh Gully, which was a good choice and was protected from the Easterly wind.
The Fun started when we were heading back down to the CIC Hut.
The wind was strong enough to lift you off your feet. It put me on my arse a number of times. Nathan's climbing helmet got blown away but Glenn got the biggest kicking. He got launched in the air, landing on his ankle, hip and face. But he did a valiant job getting off the mountain with a damaged ankle and bloodied face.

Roll on Norway next w/e

Monday, 5 February 2007

Got a text from Toot today.....apparently the roads around Rothbury were slippery yesterday. PMSL when I saw the Vid. well done Toot.

Back on topic.... check out the Sat image for later in the week!!!

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Raven Crag

No Ice Climbing this Weekend. So we headed for Langdale. Met up with Liam at the Old Dungeon Ghyll, then we went up to East Raven Crag. The weather was fantastic, with Graham Climbing for a few hours with his top off!!! The 5 of us had a great day.
Hopefully back to the ice next week.

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