After coaxing our car out of her ice nest at Torp airport, we crammed our bags in and made a very long (in time, not kilometres) drive to Rjukan. She proved to be quite the prima donna, requiring regualr de-icing on the way. To be fair it was -19 almost all the way too. As we drove over the higher roads we decided that the Norwegian forecast we've been using must be rubbish, the temperature soared to a balmy -8.
After a very leisurely start (rounds of breakfasts, brews, chattering, more brews etc - o, and a bit of sharpening stuff) we drove to Krokan at the head of the valley. Usually the redeeming feature might be that other climbers would be tiring and we'd be able to take advantage of their weariness and elbow our way to a route without too much growling. Not today. There wasn't one other car vehicle at the carpark. At Krokan itself there were four other pairs and not one of them British!! On our drive up we'd spotted a few teams on Fabrikkfossen and Tjonnstadbergfossen - both above the town of Rjukan.
We struggled against the cold. We didn't win. The ice was very thick and well formed, although some routes just aren't 'in' at all. And as there hasn't been much thawing and refreezing going on the routes make up for current brittleness in being extensively climbed already - making for great axe placments.
It's sweetie shop mode tomorrow - so many options, what to do...maybe Fabrikkfossen.
Today Lisa got reaquainted with the ice, Sara had her first taste of foreign ice and I got reaquainted with the Doodles. O, the Doodles...If you don't know them, you haven't lived.