Norway is Mecca for Ice Climbers from around the World. Tousands of icefalls and excellent conditions in winter. In this article you will find some propositions for unforgettable ice climbing holidays. In Norway you can find routes from single pitch up to 800-1000 m in length (sic!). If your an experienced ice climber then Norway is a trip of a lifetime :-).
Climbing ice on the coasts of Norway has its specialities: Due their proximity to the sea the icefalls in the western fjords are bent are twisted creations. Massive storms, drastic changes in temperature, and the resulting fast freeze thaw cycles combine with long spells of warmth and rain lead to insane ice creations.
Coming to Norway without solid planning and an eye to the weather means playing roulette with your travel budget: you run the risk of experiencing a period of rain and thaw and the objects of your journey simply vanish in the changing conditions.
Rjukan – Telemark Region
This is the best location in Norway to find stable ice climbing conditions (November – March) and icefalls at all skill level. Rjukan in deep valley with over 150 established ice climbs all concentrated in a very small area and is easy to reach just 2.5 hr drive from Oslo (airport). In city Rjukan you will find accommodation.
New this year Rjukan has one of the nicest Ice Parks where they “farming” fresh ice just 5 minute walk from our beautiful lodge the Climbing. In general You will need a car to get around the area if you do not want to be limited to the routes close to the town centre. The vast majority of the routes are all within 20 km of
Icefall Lipton WI7. Photo: Andrzej Makarczuk / wspinanie.pl
Classic single or multi-pitch routes range from easy WI 3 – WI 6 and all approaches are generally short and logistically easy. There is also an alpine skiing centre at Gaustablikk
Below nice movie "Rjukan Ice Paradise" by polish director Jan Wierzejski
Hemsedal – Buskerud Region
If you want to combine Ice Climbing and Skiing then Hemsedal is the best choice. Here you have plenty of classic routes and one of Norway’s better ski areas all in the same valley. Routes at all levels but not the plethora that can be found in other parts of Norway.
Gudvangen in western Norway is home to several world-class routes. These lines provide around 1000 meter of continuous steep ice-climbing. Some of the lines are climbed, but the greatest line was still untouched before Robert Jasper introduced his climbing ethics to Norway
Eidfjord – Hordaland Region
Måbødalen - Eidfjor. Photo: Matthias Scherer (source)
Eidfjord is considered a must visit location for ice climbers who want to explore new routes or just experience huge steep icefalls. It is a beautiful small village within the fantastic Hardangar Fjord. Here you can climb ice routes above the fjord and have access to long classic routes.
Northern Norway – Lofoten, Lyngen Alps, or Bodø
This remote region offers an abundance of established challenges, as well as considerable potential for new routing. The dark winter days north of the Polar Circle allows for climbing all winter but this area is best in late February – March when the light comes back and gives long enough days to climb these routes without having to climb by headlamp. But prepare for long approach.
Climbing in Lyngen Alps. Photo. Hannes Mair (source)
If your looking for a real adventure and want to climb some first ascents in Norway then is good area for you. This kind of trip requires special planning and probably help from local climbers.