In a bid to avoid the crowds during half term week Richy (Richy Reed) and me joined forces with two Derbyshire based friends, Dean Dalton and his Dad Ed., for a trip to Rjukan this week, and it looks like we’ve picked a goodin!
Following a relatively uneventful journey from Oslo to Rjukan, well apart from the enormous Moose that nearly ran us off the road, we arrived at our luxurious accommodation (it has heated floors and a coffee machine J) around 1.00am early this morning...after a couple of single malts (to help us sleep folks ;-)) we went to bed in our very comfortable doss.
Following a quick breakfast at the very nice village patisserie, It was a very excited group of grown men walking in to the very accessible Krokan area of Rjukan for a day which was supposed to be a gentle re-introduction to steep ice. Dean and Ed. had been to this area the year previously and were gobsmacked at the difference to the current conditions we found in the river bed today... Some routes we climbed (WI3 & WI4 (Water Ice 3 & 4)) were not even described or identified in the guide book but were quality routes any world renounced ice climber would be happy ascending. Routes which had short steep sections normally were today transformed into long committing quality climbs.
A few people around today, a group of three Spanish guys from Madrid (yes of course I conversed with them J...or rather tried to) and a pair from Northampton (I have to say pair as Richy thought it was a Father and Daughter team as she was shouting Dad to take the rope in...However, to me it seemed a little unlikely and after asking Richy ‘are you sure she was shouting Dad and not Dan?...his nonchalant response of ‘Arh yeah could have been’ summed up that really we weren’t bothered anyway).
Although we have been taking the ‘Michael’ out of our friend Craig back at home on Facebook it would have been good having him around today to hear his little excited Stanley screams J hahahaha.
We are trying where possible to be self catered this week and Ed. cooked up an awesome meal of pesto pasta with Norwegian meat balls...yum!...More whiskey and a few quality climbing DVD’s has finished our night off quite nicely...
More of the same tomorrow please...