11:30pm, Saturday night, I finally get home after the mammoth journey back from Norway (I will use this opportunity here to advertise the advantages of having a loving and caring husband who offers to pick you up from Heathrow and drive you all the way home to Wales, rather than having to go through the rigmarole of the tube and then the trains back whilst carrying a serious amount of kit in two huge bags – the journey down TO the airport had not been a whole lot of fun if I’m honest. So thank you hun, really!)
A few things have happened/may start to happen since I’ve been away, and I may write a bit about these in future, but for now I shall concentrate on my trip reports. Now, 2 weeks of climbing is quite alot to write about and could get quite boring and tedious, so I’ve decided to split my writing into two ‘week summaries’, just focusing on the highlights really, and including some nice pictures (some taken by me, and some taken by my partner Patrick – I have to mention this so he doesn’t moan about picture credits!).
Week 1 mostly consisted of having fun on single pitch routes of between WI3-WI5, the photos I’ve included are a selection from Krokan (the routes Jomfrua WI4 and Topp WI5), the Lower Gorge (route LP-Plata WI3) and Svingfoss WI4, a route that simply could not have a shorted walk-in (you can see the road on the right hand side beneath me).
I must say, for me one of the best things about Rjukan is how easily accessible the routes are – the longest walk-in we made during the 2 weeks was no more than 20-30 minutes along a major footpath, many of the routes are reachable in 5-15 minutes, with Svingfoss being possibly the shortest walk-in at a whole 5 seconds (or as long as it takes you to cross the road). Of course, the old equation comes into play – the shorter the walk-in, the more popular the route, and of course with ice routes, the more hacked about they will be. That said I think for pure fun, Svingfoss may well have been my favourite route – we actually went back to it a second time and re-lead it before setting a toprope on the very steepest line it had to offer (which probably went at WI5), so I could so some subjective axe testing (more to come on that).