Sunday, 16 February 2014

Nick on ice on ice

Let me start by using a photo to express my current mood:

This is a waterfall 

So, we have arrived in Norway. It's hot. Well, too warm anyway. The potential out here is staggering. Potential is of little use right now though.

Today we scouted around and most areas were found to be wanting. A good freeze would bring a lot back, but that's not on the forecast.

Going up high we drove to 'magic lake' that was at about 1000m. Above it, a soaring cliff band, that was...  completely devoid of ice.  James was so sure.

Shrew by the lake - is this magic?

Turning around we decided to climb one of the smaller icefalls near the road - hardly world class, but at least there is a few days worth of stuff up here if push comes to shove. I was thinking how to describe my feelings while climbing this, and I think it can be best summed up as 'preoccupied with the discomfort of not having climbed much ice for a while'.  My body knew it was easy, my head knew it was easy, but it didn't feel easy.  We have taken to naming climbs we do, just for our own reference - not to claim an ascent of something with a name somewhere that's been climbed many times - James proposed Advanced Brain Decay after our usual first-route-of-the-season faff. I then needed reminding how to use a belay plate (it was new and borrowed so not quite as dumb as it seems).  I still think Advanced Brain Decay is better suited to a WI6 mega route than a 40m WI4 next to the road.  We may use it properly one day.

Terrible feet
So the plan is to check out one other higher altitude option and then we have Hemsedal - we are fairly sure there is stuff there, but it is a long drive.

On our return to the cabin, this was waiting in my inbox, and cheered me up a bit.  Without my calming influence, Willow woke up a lot earlier than normal this morning apparently!

Up in Lyngen, where we have climbed before, the scenery is stunning, but there aren't the classic narrow fjords that you imagine - here there are vertical walls rising straight out the sea.  There is no doubt in my mind, that in a good year, this is where it is at.  This is not a good year.

Vangsgaarden Cabins in Aurlandvangen

It must be whisky time now. We are in Norway, so it's Japanese whisky, obviously.

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