Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Norway Post #1: Unbelievable!

The unthinkable happened, after 10 years of dreaming of a climbing trip to Norway, I arrived during the warmest winter in 100 years. Seth had emailed me 2 days before I arrived and asked if I was sure I still wanted to come. Thus began our "Audacity of hope tour". Grim is the only description of the next 10 days, warm temps - even hitting 9C - and continual rain. Upon arriving in Rjukan, the depression started to set in. There was very little ice and lots of climbers wondering how they could muscle in on 20 meter pitches of grade 3. Some mayhem ensued. Still we were of the "audacity" tour and took our tools for a walk, going to look at classics like Lipton - see post #2 for photos - and watched the water pour off the lip of where a curtain once hung.
Luckily we found something to do while it rained, guiding for Northern Alpine Guides. Super clients and a good way to ensure I didn't go mad in the rain. This past weekend we went to Hemsedal, which is a great ski town, stayed with some really fun people and brought back the hope as the temps dropped a bit - reaching -11C on Sunday morning, but wind and fresh snow prevented us from climbing Hynefossen, as spindrift and collapsing cornices kept us from anything too stupid. About the photos: the price of a bacon burger at the gas station - yes this is an expensive country, me two screwing a Rjukan WI 5(?), heading into the Upper gorge with clients, and lunch with utterly soaked and dyed hands. Too many emails to deal with now so will post more later.