Saturday, 31 January 2015

Norway with Torridon Mountain Rescue Team

Spot of footwork training to get started
Initial thoughts when I was flying out to Norway were that we would probably get more ice climbing done in Scotland than Norway as conditions out there haven't been great.  Fortunately, around Aurland, we did find ice to climb and had a great week training members of the team.  With 11 members out with me, we spent a couple of days at crags where I could keep an eye on everyone, answer questions they had and show them things they didn't know.  Then we all broke off and did our own thing.  We had to stay high to find the best ice which was always a battle with the vast amounts of snow out there but we felt we won most of the time.
Mark getting tuck in up at Vetlebotn
Easy top-roping at Vetlebotn
Team sessions at Vetlebotn
 Our first day was spent driving around looking for ice to climb.  The usual suspects were looking a little bare.  We ended up using our rest day on the first day of the trip as a recce around as many places we could.  Many of the large ice falls were incomplete and anything low was running with water.  Around Stondallen was good and above was also climbable ice.  The amounts of snow made it hard to move around to the crags but with a large team we put good tracks in.
Evening entertainment

Duncan doing his first winter lead.  2 pitches of WI3 (Eiger Ron Belaying)

Dunc having it

Dunc leading the second pitch.  Jenny and Eiger Ron belaying

Charlie enjoying steep ice

Mark doing laps

Mark leading, Greg abseiling
 Last year I made the first ascent of this great gully, which my clients Kitty and Suzanne called '2 bangs and a slap WI4.  We had 4 teams on the route over two days and had great climbing all the way up.  We had multiple teams in Stondallen and a team on a WI4 at Grimsete (just below the Stondallen tunnel) which had great ice.  As we left the weather went super cold so the next few weeks will be shaping up very well.  One of the team has stayed out for another week and I shall be back out at the end of Feb.
Greg and Arjan following me up on the 3rd ascent of '2 bangs and a slap'

Great gully climbing

Arjan abseiling

Scottish conditions in Stondallen

Greg doing more leading.

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