Climbing Ice

Kernow Climbing instructor climbing an icefall in Rjukan, Norway

Ice climbing and Cornwall are not phrases you usually associate without one another. But with Ice climbing and Rjukan it's another story. So I headed there in the middle of February to try and apply some of the skills I've learned on Cornish granite to the frozen icefalls of Norway's premier ice climbing destination. Not knowing anything about ice climbing, I signed up for a course with four experienced MIC's from the UK and 7 clients. It’s a small world, and one of the instructors turned out to be none other than UK winter climbing legend, and National Coasteering Charter rep for North Wales, Mark 'Baggy' Richards.

Four days of solid ice climbing were packed in, with dozens of single pitch routes, and a few multi-pitch epics as well. Gradually rising temperatures through the week threatened to bring the climbing to an early finish, but luckily conditions held for the duration. I can definitely say I’m hooked. Climbing on ice is simply great fun, and it will be a permanent fixture on my winter calendar from now on!