Norwegian ice: an insatiable appetite
When it comes to talking of Norway, Albert Leichtfried is indefatigable… There, this young and eager ice climber found a country to match his immoderate passion for ice… Text: Albert Leichtfried. Photos: Elias Holzknecht.
As a young and motivated ice climber, I have often travelled to the best spots in the Alps looking for the hardest routes. My travels also took me to other countries outside Europe – Canada, Chile and Japan in particular. I gathered a pretty accurate idea of the best the planet has to offer in terms of ice falls. It was always fascinating to travel round countries I had never visited, looking for new lines. Every year, I chose a new continent.Then came Norway. Norway was truly different. As from my very first trip there, I became aware that the great ice climbing amateurs we were had just fallen upon extraordinary potential, unrivalled across the globe. On the road from Oslo to Rjukan, a few hours’ drive, there is such an incredible quantity of falls that you could amuse yourself here for years. Describing ice climbing in Norway in just a few paragraphs is impossible.All I shall endea- vour to do here is to evoke a few moments spent in this country. To make the most of the infinite ice climbing possibilities here, you need to consider the ice conditions.The falls here are not necessarily like the ones you can encounter in the Alps. Several sites are located near the sea and they benefit from the Gulf Stream. Major lines are formed due to the perpetual changes in temperature, from hot to cold and vice versa.