Norwegian Ice Climbing

I’ve wanted to visit Norway for ages and ages to climb the ice that drips down the sides of the massive gorge below the famous heavy water plant. With the history surrounding the place (The Heroes of Tele-mark, Kirk Douglas, Ray Mears, World War II nuclear struggle, etc.), who wouldn’t want to visit?

Well, Rjukan is an awesome venue – fantastic ice, not as expensive as I’d feared (especially with super cheap – 2p return – Ryan Air flights), just two hours from the UK (that’s much closer than Scotland), and inspiring scenery – recommended!

The route in the picture above, Sabotorfossen (WI5), was amazing and included a bit of climbing past old metal work that had been bulldozered over the cliff edge from the heavy water plant!

Ama Dablam

In November 2005 Laetitia and I made our first joint trip to Nepal to attempt to climb Ama Dablam, the “Matterhorn of the Himalayas”. Nepal is perhaps one of the most amazing places on Earth; the highest mountains on Earth, culturally inspiring, and devastatingly beautiful! 😛

We trekked from Lukla, after flying in from Kathmandu, along the Khumbu trail – a heavily used trail supporting such mainstream trekking activities as the Everest Base Camp trek. From Pangboche we headed up to our base camp below the South West face. From here we spent a week working our way up Ama Dablam via it’s South West ridge.

Ama Dablam, Camp 3
Ama Dablam, Camp 3

After our awesome time in the Himalayas we were ready for some rest and luxury; Himalayan climbing is hard work! We kicked off with the standard tourist trail around Kathmandu. Perhaps the highlight of this was our visit to the Pashupatinath, an amazing Hindu temple on the bank of the Bagmati river.

Pashupatinath, Kathmandu
Pashupatinath, Kathmandu

And after that, we spent a couple of days in another of Nepal’s amazing national parks, Chitwan. The highlight here was helping wash one of the park’s working elephants! After that we learnt a new climbing skill, “elephant bouldering”…

Elephant "Bouldering", Chitwan National Park
Elephant "Bouldering", Chitwan National Park

There are a few more pictures of our Nepalese trip here