Friday, 21 February 2014


Disappointment washed over me like a wave. Again
On Wednesday we took a mighty long drive to find some friendly but steep ice to rebuild our skills on.  Golsjulet is similar to Krokan in Rjukan and did the trick.  Even here in 'The Freezer' it is a thin year though.

On the way there we stopped at this 12th century church. That is some seriously old wood.

Who would live in a house like this?
Let's go through...  the keyhole... (we couldn't, i't was locked)
Yesterday we heard via Daniel on UKC that LangÄni was in condition, so another epic drive and an hour's slog saw at the base of this mighty fine (and reportedly 250m) WI5 icefall.

After all our whinging, it actually dropped -21 on the drive over. It was a balmy -11 where we parked

This man does not like walk-in
The first and last pitches looked to be the hardest and the first saw me fighting with horrid baked cauliflowers (that may sound strange to those who haven't encountered these nasty ice formations) before stepping out on to some seriously steep terrain. Pumped out of my mind, but not in doubt of the outcome, I arrived safely at the belay.  The second pitch was more straightforward, although I did choose a steep line for a part of it.  Then this happened...

Oh crap
The front wire bail snapped on my left crampon.  Ludicrous that this takes the full force of kicks really when you think about it.  Furious and annoyed as I was, at least I managed to cope with it on ground that really was a lot steep than that photo makes out (after a few seconds of 'sheeeeeet!').  And it would have been a lot worse had it happened on the crux of the first pitch.

Damn shame as we were on course for a decent day out and I think would have made the top okay despite it looking quite spicy.  We plan to return.

Of course, the next worry was fixing them.  I was expecting to have to buy a whole new set of 'poons after trawling every shop in the area, but thankfully the first shop we tried sold me the bail off his display model.  £16 rather than £160 - think I have been let off lightly.

Today we had a bit of a lie in, then debated the relative salinity of Norwegian fjords, pondering the ingress of seawater versus the outflow of fresh water from the hills. Turns out the freshwater floats in a layer above the brine. Who know? Anyway, I digress, we decided to do a short climb that by the time we got there had a party walking in to it. That was all the prompt we needed (despite there being plenty of other lines next to it) that we would advance our rest day and get bang on it tomorrow. Until then...

(This trip, I am mostly using James' photos, so credit and thanks blah, blah)

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