31 January 2008

First ice climbing of the year - feeding the rat...

The weather has been pretty warm for January and consequently all the water that should be falling as white fluffy stuff for skiing on has been falling as the more normal damp stuff. Its also been super windy, so the ski resorts that have had a sprinkling have been shut anyway. Had a half day at Voss with Åsmund and the highlight was when he face planted and ended up with a great scar on his nose.

This lack of boarding time hasn't bothered me as much as it might have done because I have manged to get some ice climbing done.

Two weekends ago, met a guy called Jamie via UKC and after a "date" at the wall we head for a tour of western Norway looking for the frozen stuff. It was raining in Bergen and all the way past Eikdalen and even Voss. All the stuff I had climbed previously was in the liquid rather than solid state. I love waterfalls but not when I am looking for something to hack up with my axes.

Jamie and I got as far as Myrkdalen before we found any climbable ice and even then it was raining, hmmm! But we found some single pitch stuff on the far side of a frozen lake. The footprints across the lake suggested it was frozen and folk braver than us had forged a path. At the bottom of the falls we found those brave folks toproping - as is common around here. We then climbed a nice little WI3, lead by Jamie and then an excellent WI4. Finally I lead a suprisingly steep WI3 before it was dark and we headed home.

The following weekend Simon Dale came out to visit and we headed back to Myrkdalen with Sandy, this time to the other side of the valley. Found some excellent ice and Sandy quickled dispatched a WI3 followed by my efforts on a really nice WI4 which Simon added a top pitch to. Finished in the dark and headed back to Bergen feeling pretty chuffed. Posted some good pics on UKC if you want to see.

After a night on the beers, Simon and I headed far inland into Flåm where we caught the amazing flåmban train up to Myrdale. Fantastic day, no wind, blue skies and no one else around. It was pretty late by the time we arrived and we only manged one route but it was awesome, very solid WI4 and well worth the trip. Got bollocked for walking on the railway line before heading back to Bergen via the Pizza shop in Voss.

The following day, both Simon and I were to trashed to climb so we checked out the crags on Sotra and Simon made plans for a summer visit.

Its been snowing since last weekend I am climbing pretty well at the moment but also feeling like the rat is fed for a few weeks and my new board is calling...

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