We visit a number of areas in Norway, each different in the type of experience you can expect. Laerdal is situated close to Bergen on the western seaboard and experiences a maritime type climate that’s great for building ice.
Cascades and gullies here are typically 200m – 600m in length and are in the IV – VI range. We have never shared a route with another party here and self reliance is important. There is still scope for unclimbed lines for those with a pioneering instinct and the ski resort of Helmsedal is within driving distance for those who wish to ski.
Also near Bergen is the less well known Gudvangen. Similar to Laerdal this steep sided valley is home to a huge number of cascades (or ‘Fossen’) and the area has yet to be developed. For those looking for real pioneering adventure and a very real chance of new routeing then Gudvangen offers a unique experience. The season for both Gudvangen and Laerdal is Jan – March.
Lofoten is synonymous with excellent rock climbing on superb granite but in winter is transformed into ice climbers paradise. Lying in the arctic circle but affected by the ocean, ice builds here at sea level. There are routes here to suit all tastes from large alpine type cascades, scottish gullies and alpine north faces. There is still no reliable guide book for this area and there is much new route potential. The season is short, late February to early March.
Lastly, we visit the well known valley of Rujkan. Famous for it’s ‘Heavy Water’ plants steeped in wartime history these steep valley sides reliably hold ice from Dec to March. Ideally suited for novice to intermediate climbers looking to avoid the Scottish rain!