Thursday, March 06, 2008

Norway Post #2: Hydnesfossen, The Mirror Project, Nobel & The Paper Clip

I did manage to see some impressive ice in Norway as the temps began to drop the last couple of days I was there, but conditions remained miserable. Hydnefossen in a WI5/6, depending on the line you take, when in good conditions and a WI horror show when not psyched to deal with bullet hard ice in -11C temps. Seth and I went up to it on Sunday with strong winds blowing snow over the cornice, then a bit of the cornice broke free. We tucked tails and ran away. The next day we returned and found a trio of Italians had rested the day before (smart) and had utilized our trail from the day before and were having a very frustrating time on the brittle ice. We suited up and Seth started up the first pitch, unlike the Italians we were not so desperate to climb ice, and after a half rope length Seth rapped off, our turn to be smart. The Italians might still be there is was such slow going, but hats off to them for the tenacity.
I enjoyed Norway so much, and am very grateful to a few people, first Seth Hobby, great to tour around with him, if you are looking for a North West(US), Nepal, Alaska or Norway guide look him up. Andreas Spak, Seth's Partner at Northern Alpine Guides ( based in Rjukan, thanks so much for the hospitality (Scotch) and the fun evenings out and at his and Tonia's flat. Martin and Amel and the kids, thanks so much for letting me stay!!! The Hemsedal house folks, thanks for the place to crash and the great party on Sat night, should have gone out with you guys instead of going to bed to go climbing the next morning! Oh well, live and learn. Also thanks to Maren (and your parents for a great dinner on Tuesday!) and Elizabeth for letting me crash on the couch in Oslo!
I hope that next winter Northern Alpine Guides will have me back as a guest guide so I can return and climb some fun stuff. Also a few other interesting things about Norway:
The Mirror Project - Martin's project to put some sunlight into Rjukan, check it out at, and a little bit of trivia, the paperclip, invented by Norwegian inventor Johan Vaaler in 1899.
About the photos: Hydnefossen at sunrise, Seth P1, the Italians, and the mirrow project.