Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Don't try this at home, kids

But before we get into that, yesterday…

One of the caverns in the longest road tunnel in Europe at 25km

We drove to Hemsedal in search of certain ice and after a bit of scouting and waiting for the shop to open so we could buy the guidebook (not the greatest, it must be said), we decided on Haugsfossen - a nice short route of two pitches that we did in one. We also did Indre Haugsfoss next to it.  Going at WI4 and 4+, they seemed pretty easy, which is promising.  We also had company, the first time in over six weeks of climbing in Norway (excluding Toby who we purposefully met) with two chaps climbing nearby.

We then took a look at Hydnesfossen which may be, and, I say this in a whisper, our main objective for the trip now. It’s a beast.

Driving back we took a look around Upper Lærdalen and found at least three more good routes to climb. So at last, things are looking up!


Today we chose Seltunfossen, a large WI4+/5 that is quite close to the E16 (sort of like a motorway, but lamer, but then again, the Norwegians put roads where we wouldn’t dare).  It has a long approach climb before the falls steepen up - maybe 200m of WI2-3.  We semi-soloed this (yes, I have made this term up, basically I didn’t put much pro in) on one rope.  On arriving at the base of the start of the route proper, I asked James where the second rope was.  Which brings me on to the title of this post…

Little do I know the distinct lack of ropes that is about to present itself

Don’t try this at home, kids!

One should probably not attempt a 150m WI4+/5 on one half rope, tested to only 55kg. But hey, I is not one.  After about ten minutes of James apologising, I set off. The climb was pretty straight forward with three full pitches of steepish but sticky ice with great footholds.  An encouraging result as I was sure to climb well within my capabilities due to the slightly flimsy rope.  The big worry, of course, was the descent - 30m abseils would make for a very late night.  We took a gamble and headed off left and up and hoped we could fight our way down through the trees.  We could, and it ended up being probably not much longer than abseiling with two ropes.

On the way home, James couldn’t get the cruise control to work. Until he realised it required being in fifth gear. He was doing 75 in third. Okay, I’ll be fair; it was 75kph.

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