Nor­we­gian ice: an in­sa­tiable ap­petite

Vertical (English) - - Special Report -

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.

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