Posts Tagged ‘ice climbing’

GUIDING FRENDO SPUR AND OTHER THINGS IN CHAMONIX

Since start of September I’ve been in Chamonix, mostly working. The weather has been good except of the days when I’ve not been working.
I had two regular clients, Erik and Richart, for 8 days in start of September. We did various things, but the most memorable was guiding Frendo Spur in the north face of Aiguille du Midi with Erik. Frendo is a bit bigger objective than what I usually guide, but with a regular client that I knew well, it did not fell that big. We had good conditions and used 8h30 from Refuge Plan du Aiguille to the top, 7h on the route. The other days was varied with rock climbing in the sun in Aiguilles Rouges, a day on Aiguille du Moine and two days on the Tacul Triangle.
Except of the guiding I’ve not done much in the mountains, theres been some rock climbing (and ice cream eating) in Italy and trail running in Chamonix. Now I’ll have a week in Norway before I go down to France again to spend most of October there.

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NORTIND GLACIER COURSE

On May 3rd til 10th I was in Jostedalen in Sogn working with the guide-training for NORTIND (Norske Tindevegledere). NORTIND is the Norwegian mountain guide association and we educate guides to become IFMGA/UIAGM/IVBV certified guide. This was a glacier course for the group who started in 2011. Andreas Haslestad, Jostein AAsen and I was the instructors.
Learn more about NORTIND here.

Below is pictures from a week on the glacier. After all, glacier is not so bad when the weather is good.

ICE CLIMBING COURSE

Back in Norway for a few weeks. Last week I was one of the teachers for the candidates on the Norwegian IFMGA guide training program. It was a ice climbing course held in my home area – Romsdalen. I’m very happy to be a part of the guide training and as always, this courses are very inspiring and fun work. And I think it’s a great that I can give something back to the Norwegian guide association – NORTIND. The only thing that’s a bit boring aboute this courses is that I don’t do any leading, just seconding.
But this was not the best days for a climbing course, during the course we had more than one meter of fresh snow. Because of all the snow and high avalanche risk we could not do any of the longer routes we had planed. And to be honest, we could barely get on anything at all.
The last day of the course we used a lift block to pull various V-anchors and ice screws in a lot of different ice. To pull ice gear is always very interesting and and you learn a lot, or maybe you don’t? At least its very difficult to generalize from it. Normally anchors in good ice is very strong and the rest is….sometimes strong, and sometimes not. But it’s fun to place a ice screw, feel how the ice is when drilling it into the ice and then make a guess aboute how strong it is.

Below is a few pictures and a short video from pulling an ice screw.

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EXPRESS-ALPINISM FAILS IN ALASKA

Starting on Hunter

 

I’m just back from a climbing trip with American Colin Haley to the Central Alaska range. When we left, we had a lot of different objectives in mind and ambitious plans. We ended up without doing any of the bigger climbs we had hoped for, but nevertheless, we had a good trip. Our main objectives was to climb the North Buttress of Mt. Hunter and the Cassin ridge on Denali. We wanted to climb both as fast as possible, hopefully faster than it had ever been done before.

Colin updated his blog some days ago with words and pictures, check it out HERE. He’s not as lazy as me and has a more complete report. He’s english is a lot better also 😉

Here’s my quick resume of the trip:

We flew on to the glacier on May 12. and after some days of acclimatizing around base camp we climbed the 1200 meter high Deprivation on the north buttress of Hunter in just 9 hours, but never summited. When we toped out the final ice band it started to snow hard. We sat in a crevasse for some hours hoping for better weather, but it just got worse. We had no bivi gear and bailed, abseiling 30 or so abseils in very bad spindrift through the night.

After that we moved up on Denali, acclimatizing from 14.000 camp. We had skis so we did a bunch of skiing, often in good snow. We summited Denali twice, first climbing the Upper West Rib. Later we climbed up the Orient Express with skis and skied from the summit and down the Orient. Conditions were ok, but the snow was very hard in the upper half of the Orient.

After that it snowed a bunch and time started to run out. When the weather finally got better we decided to try Cassin. We knew there would be a lot of fresh snow on the route and if we had more time we would have waited for the snow to settle, but we didn’t. Conditions on the Seattle 71 ramp approach and in the Japanese Couloir were super good, but after that it was just snow, snow and more snow. When we got to the top of the third rock band we were so tiered that we decided to bail. We traversed the upper part of the south-west face back to the upper west rib and down to camp. A few days later, on June 21., we flew out of the range, Colin back to Seattle and me home to Norway.

Below there is a lot of pictures from the trip, click on images to see larger versions.


LES DROITES AGAIN, EIGER AGAIN and LES DROITES SOLO

Me close to the summit of Droites. Photo: Colin

I’ve never been very creative and I think the last two weeks of climbing proves that.

Colin and me wanted to do a link-up of the north faces of Les Droites and Grandes Jorasses. This ment taking skies, stove and food for day two up and down the Droites. It’s not that many routes in conditions on the north face and since we wanted to go to the true summit we ended up on Messner again. The conditions was, as last time, very good and we soloed the first half of the face and climbed the rest in three long pitches. We started from first lift and did’t rush since our backpacks were heavy and we wanted to save some energy for the next day, but we summited after a little more than 6 hours on the face. On the descent, experiencing really bad snow conditions we decided to change plans and not go for the Jorasses the next day. We feared that the snow would be as bad and dangerous on the Italian of Jorasses. Instead of going to the Leschaux hut we skied to the Charpoua winter hut. The next day, without kowing much about the peak or how to get there we set of to climb Aig. de Triolet. The attempt ended on a false summit witch we should have traversed around on the north. Non of us were keen on not catching the last train from Montenvers so we called it a day and skied home.

Colin was super psyched on climbing the north face of Eiger and asked me if I wanted to climb it with him. Immediately after climbing Eiger in February I didn’t think I would even consider climbing it again. But on the other hand, the north face of Eiger is one of the most impressive feathers in the Alpes, so I couldn’t say no to such a opportunity either. We new that conditions was good after almost a week of good weather and traveled to Switzerland on April 9. We hoped for a fast ascents and planed to start climbing at fist light around 6. It was weekend and I conditions has been pretty good on Eiger all winter so we were not the only one on the face. All together we saw 8 other teams on the face, unfortunately most of them started before us.

We started climbing at 06.15 and soloed up to just before the Difficult crack where we had to wait for a while on another team. Colin led it and and climbed a little further to pass the team in front of us. I took over and climbed one very long pitch until the start of the ramp. We brought a lot of slings witch made it possible to simul-climb a lot. On this pitch we past 4(!) teams before the 2. ice field. Colin led the Ramp to the top of the Waterfall pitch in two pitches before I continued all the way to the gullies above the Spider. We climbed that in two pitches and I made a belay just below the Quarts crack. From there, Colin took us to the summit witch we reached at 14.00. We rested and hydrated for a little while before we down climbed the south-west flank. The descent was straight forward and we were back at Eigergletscher 11 hours after we started.

Back in Chamonix, Colin been busy with the Piolets d’Or the last days and I’ve been without a partner. But the weather has been a bit on and off and I also had a sore throat so I have not got much climbing done. But yesterday I headed up in the Argentier basin again to do a climb thats been on my mind for a long time. Last year I climbed the Ginat in the North face of Les Droites with Colin on dry conditions. This year, conditions been very good and it was time to climb it by myself. I started from the first lift and crossed the bergschround around 10. After the snowfall the last week there were quite much snow on the lower part of the route. What earlier this year (when climbing Messner) had been perfect neve and easy to climb, was now covered in snow. So, to climb it as safe as I wanted I had to move slow and be careful on each move. But on the steeper, upper part of the route conditions were better and I could enjoy the climbing. The crux was, as normal, the last steep part just before the snow couloir on top. I finished at the Breches des Droites and raped down the south side from there. I climbed with skis on my backpack so I could get down on the south side as easy as possible. The skiing down Glacier de Telefre was fun and I was on Montenvers in time to catch the 16.00 train.

Easter will be spent skitouring in the Alpes. Tomorrow I start another Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Weather forecast looks good – or maybe not for the skiing – sunny for one week.

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WORK AND SOME FUN

Bjørn Kruse on Kjørlifossen


January and first part of February I’ve been in Norway. Working quite a bit, but also been skiing and climbing with friends. I’ve had to nice weekends skiing with clients in Romsdalen, the rest of the time I’ve been in the eastern parts of Norway – Rjukan, Hemsedal and Lærdal for ice climbing – mostly work. Below you can see some pictures from the ice climbing.

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PATAGONIA – Nov/Des 2010

Torre Summits

In early November, Ole Lied and I traveled to Chalten in Argentinean Patagonia hoping for good weather and a lot of climbing. But both of us knew that Patagonia is just as famous for it high winds and bad weather as for its good climbing.

We arrived in the end of a good weather window and carried all our gear into the Torre valley in perfect weather. We wanted to try Exocet on Cerro Standhardt, a classic ice/mix route on the easiest of the Torre summits. The next day the weather was not so good and wind was almost blowing us out of balance on the first mix pitches from Standhardt Col. The ramp was in the shade of the wind and we moved quite fast in good conditions. In the chimney the spindrift was constant but ice was good and we made steady progress. The chimney is narrow and its almost impossible to hide from ice falling from the leader. On pitch three of the chimney Ole was leading and was almost at the next belay when one big chunk of ice hit me. Everything was black for some seconds and my head and neck hurt like hell. My helmet was smashed and we decided to go home, to bad since we had done most of the hard climbing, but the only smart thing to do. The next day we walked back to Chalten in rain and wind.

The next weeks we tried to climb some routes but weather was mostly bad. We “missed” one good weather window when we started to early and turned back (did’t get far) in a bad storm, just to wake up in the tent again some hours later to perfect weather. We climbed Todo O Nada, a easy ice route on El Mocho. Its did’t feel right to be on a route like that in such good weather when we should have been climbing on one of the bigger peaks. The same day Colin was the first to solo Exocet (very impressive!) and Bjørn-Eivind and Robert also climbed Exocet.

Back in Chalten we did our best to make the days fly by. Bouldering, sport climbing, running, hiking, eating big Argentinean stakes and tasting the Vino Tinto. But not necessarily in that order…

Just before we went home we climbed Whillans-Cochrane route on Aguja Poincenot, one of the most majestic summits in the Fitz Roy massif. The weather was quite good, but the wind was high all day and although the climbing never is hard it was hard enough for us that day, we did everything in big boots and with gloves. It was good to get one real summit before we went home to celebrate Christmas in Norway.

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Grandes Jorasses – Colton/MacIntyre

Grand Jorasses seen from Le Courtes, March 2010

After a long summer with to much work it was nice to finally finish the guiding season in september. But back home in Norway I just wanted to go back to the Alps for some alpine climbing. Big snowfalls in august could make the north faces would come in early this year. And it’s so easy to be a alpinist today, specially for climbing in the Alps, just google the routes you want to do and hopefully you get a fresh trip report. As expected – the Grandes Jorasses was in!

After a while I convinced Steinar Grynning to come with me and we arrived in Chamonix in early October to perfect weather. We started acclimatization by climbing a route from the Cunningham Couloir and up to the Cosmiques Ridge. The next day we climbed a route on the Tacule Triangle and to the summit.

Ever since the first time I saw the huge north face of Grandes Jorasses, after skiing the Breche Puiseux, I’ve wanted to climb the Jorasses. And last year I finally did by climbing Slovenien route to Croz spur with Eiliv Ruud. But Colton-Mac is the real deal, a awesome line, so I knew had to do that one also.

We packed and planed to take the train to Montenvers, but showing up at the station around mid day we couldn’t believe what we saw – the train finished for the season YESTERDAY. FU%&! After 5 minutes discussion we decided to take the Midi lift and traverse from the Plan de l`Aguille to the Montenvers. It took us some time, but not to bad and we were at the Leschaux hut around 18.00. With a early start we crossed the bergschround in the dark and started up what felt like endless ice slopes. But conditions were good and we found nevee most of the way. We roped up in the middle of the first narrow section and climbed one looong pitch to the ice crux. The deal was that Steinar should take the ice and I should take the headwall. The ice crux says grade 6 in the guidebook. It was not as steep as expected, but one good piece of gear in 30 meters was quite interesting, also for the belayer. Some more low angled ice took us to the final headwall, witch we knew would be the crux of the climb. Not just because of the climbing, but also because of the route finding. We swapped lead and I started up a thin runnel of ice. Protection was difficult to get, but the climbing was never desperate so it was OK. It took some time, but we summited after 10 hours and 30 minutes on the face.

The normal route from Italy is a big route in itself and we wanted to get all the 2700 vertical meters down to the valley. We got of the glacier just when it got dark and stopped to melt some water. The rest of the descent with headlamps was hard for tiered legs, but we made it all the way down. And a BIG thanks to Joacim for driving throw the tunnel to pick us up!

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SKIING AND CLIMBING IN CHAMONIX…


Les Courtes North face…mostly skiing

On March 16. I traveled to Chamonix for 6 weeks, 3 of them for work. Before the guiding started I had 10 days of skiing and climbing on my own. When I arrived it hadn’t snowed for a long time and conditions was good for climbing. But to acclimatize I first did some skitouring. On the 19. I climbed the Swiss route in the north face of Les Courtes. The conditions were good and I had tracks from another party on the snowy part of the the climb. The climb took me 2.15. I climbed with short approach skis on my backpack so I could ski down the Telèfre side and down to Chamonix.

The next days it was raining in town, but snowing up high. When it finally cleared I had some good days of skiing from Midi.

On the 23. I teamed up with Amandine and Cristophe for the Aig d´Argentier. Weather and conditions was perfect. We went up the normal route on the west side, but skied down on the east. From the Saleina glacier we went throw the Fenetre de Saleina and Col du Tour, before we finished a long day with lots of good skiing down to Le Tour.

 

Christophe skiing the east face (Barbey Couloir) of Argentier

 

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ICE Norway winter 2010

Me climbing last pitch of Hydne. Photo: Kristoffer SzilasThis ice conditions in Norway has been extraordinary this winter. All over southern Norway it was cold and stable temperatures from mid December to early March. In Romsdalen where I live the conditions has been OK on some of the classic lines. But due to the little snow and cold temperatures early in the season, the smaller streams witch makes the good alpine lines froze to early to make them climbable. But other places nearby, like Eikesdalen and Geiranger has seen a lot of first ascents. Unfortunately I’ve been a lot away for work and never made it to Geiranger this winter. But I’ve had some good climbing in Hemsedal, with some first ascent and I’ve got the chance to climb some of the bigger classic waterfalls that I’ve wanted to climb for a long time.

Below you can see pictures from some of the climbs.

Short movie from a wet day on Vettis. Credit: Bjørn-Eivind Aartun

 

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ICE CLIMBING WITH GUIDE IN HEMSEDAL – NORWAY

Hydne 2010-03-14Hemsedal and Hallingdalen was early known for its good ice climbing. Many waterfalls and a stable temperatures makes Hemsedal a good destination for a ice climbing adventure. Close to Hemsedal is fames “crags” such as Rjukandefoss and Golsjuvet wich offers super climbing with short approach. Big waterfalls like Hydnefossen  and Grøtnuten are long and serious climbs, but if conditions are good and you are a strong climber, we can do it together!

Hemsedal is also a good destination for skiing, either you want touring or off-pist skiing. A combination of ice climbing and skiing can make this a really memorable holiday.

 

Where: Hemsedal

When: Desember to medio March

Programs: I can arrange different programs that suites you’re level and desires.

Difficulties: All levels

Ratio: Up to 3 clients on 1 guide, depending on the difficulties. One or two clients are the best, three clients limites what we can do.

Price per day:

From NOK 3500,-

(Price includes IFMGA mountain guide and all climbing equipment)

 

Discount if booking 4 days or more

 

Questions or more info

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PATAGONIA

Arriving in Chalten

Feb.16.2010

Finally I’ve made a post about my Patagonia trip.

In late November I traveled to Patagonia together with Trym A. Sæland and Sigurd Backe. We flew from Norway on Nov. 21. and arrived in Chalten to a short weather window. On the 24. we climbed Benitiers on El Mocho.

After that, one week of “Patagonia weather” forced us to stay in Chalten, mostly eating chocolate at the Chocolateria and drinking beer in the Cerveceria. But in early December the pressure was rising and we headed up the Torre valley, to Niponino again. On Des. 4 we climbed Supercanaleta on Fitz Roy, probably the best routes I have ever done! First 1000meters of snow- and ice, then 24 pitches of mix terrain up to grad 5.10. The weather was not to good in the morning, but it cleared and we had blue sky and some wind on the summit. The 500 meters of abseiling down Franco-Argentine was interesting, specially after it got dark.

After two rest days the weather was still good and we climbed the 800 meter long Clara de Luna on St. Exupery on Des. 8. Again, a superb route.

On a day with not so good weather, lots of wind and cold temperatures, we climbed Piola route on St. Rafael on Des 10.

On the 11. Sigurd and me teamed up with Lena Dahl and climbed the North ridge on De la S. Another fun day climbing.

Sigurd and me wanted to try to get one more climb before the weather turned bad again and tried Poincenot, but it was one day to late and we was turned back because of bad weather.

Some days later, Sigurd went home to Norway and Trym’s girlfriend arrived so I was more or less without a partner. But the weather forecast said two weeks of bad weather so it didn’t really matter. Instead I teamed up with Marco and Mario, two Swiss climbers I’ve met at the Cerveceria, for a roadtrip down south…

 

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Photo credit: Trym A. Sæland, Sigurd Backe and Nils Nielsen


ICE AND WINTER CLIMBING WITH GUIDE IN ROMSDALEN – NORWAY

IceRomsdalen is famous for it great rock climbing in summer, but in winter, the valley and surrounding mountain is a eldorado for ice and alpine climbing. With its many frozen waterfalls and high mountain alpine routes, you can chose from one pitch waterfalls to multiday alpine routes.

Do you want a winter ascent of the famous peaks Romsdalshorn or Vengetind, or maybe climb long and moderat waterfalls like Ølmåa or Kvernagrova? Or do you just want to experience the fun and wonders of ice climbing down in the valley? There is something for everyone!

Where: Romsdalen

When: November to medio March

Programs: I can arrange different programs that suites you’re level and desires. Contact me for more info!

Price per day:

From NOK 3500,-

(Price includes IFMGA mountain guide and all climbing equipment)

Discount if booking 4 days or more

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ROMSDALSHORN IN WINTER

Routes: Halls-renne (normal route or direct)

Schedule: Private booking

Duration: 1 or 2 day roundtrip

Best season: November

Difficulties: You should be a experienced climber and be used to climb with ice-axes and crampons. You should move fast on moderat terrain and have good endurance.

Ratio: Up to 2 clients on 1 guide.

If we haven’t climbed together before I would recommend a preparation climb/training day in advance of the climb. We get to know each other and we will be able to move faster and the chances of summiting will increase.

If we go for a one or two days ascent depend on your physical capacity and whether the road is open or not. The climb itself will only take one day.

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ICE-/ALPINE CLIMBING WEEKEND ROMSDALEN

A three day climbing adventure in Romsdalen. We can go alpine- or ice climbing, depending on conditions and your decires.

Contact me for more info aboute what to do.

Schedule: Private booking

Duration: 3 days of climbing

Difficulties: All levels

Ratio: Up to 3 clients on 1 guide, depending on the difficulties. One or two clients are the best, three clients limites what we can do.


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PRIVATE GUIDING IN ROMSDALEN

Do you have a special waterfall or mountain you want to climb in winter conditions? Or do you just want to climb in Romsdalen with a mountain guide. By hiring your own guide you have a unique opportunity to fully experience the mountain and the climbing by your own pace.

Schedule: Private booking

Duration: You decide

Difficulties: All levels

Ratio: Up to 3 clients on 1 guide, depending on the difficulties. One or two clients are the best, three clients limites what we can do.


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Questions or more info



ICE CLIMBING WITH GUIDE IN RJUKAN – NORWAY

ICERjukan is maybe the most fames place in Norway for ice climbing, at least for foreigners. And with good reason! Lots of waterfalls concentrated around the small town, a cold and long winter season makes Rjukan the perfekt place for your ice climbing holiday. I offer guiding and courses on all levels on many of the 192(!!) waterfalls in the area.

Do you have a dream of climbing some of the classic waterfalls of the gorge of Rjukan, go iceclimbing with me. Trappfoss, Rjukanfossen, Nye Vemork, Sabbotørfossen, Juvsøyla and many more – you’re choice!

Where: Rjukan – Norway

When: Desember to medio March

Programs: I can arrange different programs that suites you’re level and desires.

Recommended accommodation: ClimbInn Rjukan

Difficulties: All levels

Ratio: Up to 3 clients on 1 guide, depending on the difficulties. One or two clients are the best, three clients limites what we can do.

Price per day:

From NOK 3500,-

(Price includes IFMGA mountain guide and all climbing equipment)

Discount if booking 4 days or more

Questions or more info


Guiding ice in Hemsedal

Jan. 31.2010

Last two weeks I’ve been working in Hemsedal, mostly with ice climbing. First I had Torleif for three days, we climbed Grøtnuten, Haugsfossen and a long alpine ice route in Grøndalen. This weekend I had Gunnar and Moshe on a ice course. Very cold temperatures, but in the sun it was not to bad.

 

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CLIMBING ROMSDALEN, fall 2009

Trym on a winter free ascent of DrømmediederetNov 17. 2009

Winter started early with great skiing in early October, but the rest of October and November has been mild and dry. This warm weather gave good conditions for alpine climbing up high. I’ve been lucky and have finally done some of the routes that been on my mind for a very long time. Here are some pictures from the last month climbing.

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