Winter is here

Winter is here
Ron Walker's stunning image of Tamsin, Heather & Rosie on Bellehaven, Fiacaill Buttress (to go to his blog, click on the image above)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thirteen signs

When things fall on your head it's no longer a sign. It's day thirteen, a day when we tried very, very hard to get to ice. We got to it, but not on it. Today was 'move day', when we'd decided on a little nip up a relatively accessible route before heading over to Senja. But Heinrikkfossen was glittering. Okay, it wasn't glittering, but it faces north, starts pretty high, and looked lovely.

So up we stumbled. A vast amount of snow has gone on this slope. But it was still pretty deep in places, almost as deep as the moss. 

 I love nature.
 The moss battle. Moss wins.
Getting to love the silver birch forests which are everywhere in this country. Mmmm, certainly improve my day (and give me something to pull on).
Destination Heinrikkfossen. Doesn't look it, but this is 7 pitches and I think they'd be quite full ones. I went over to check out the ice first. Then we both went over. Looked like a lot of what would come down, had come down. Put the anchor in. Sheltered us from a sizeable downpour of snow and ice. Low tailed it out of there. I'm familiar with spindrift downpours on Ben Nevis, but this, of course, is a different elements and shapes.

 Low tailing

Back on track for the day, we bundled into the car and started heading to Senja. Except I had a different plan. There are five ice lines not too far from Bardufoss, down the Iselvdalen valley, off Kirkesdalen. So, a few hours later we were at the end of a dirt track. I spoke to a farmer in his tractor, and although he spoke no English I could understand perfectly that he was telling me that the ice lines were falling down, it's hot, they are falling down, etc. We went for a 'look' (= Jules went for a look, I went for other reasons).

They looked doable, but we were now on the opposite side with a very deep gorge between us. To be fair, it was after 6pm and we had a longish drive to Senja before us.
This is where Julian said he'd throw me in the ant heap, what was wrong with me. I tried encouragement (actually, I think I left that one out), plain persuasion, cajoling, bullying, sulking and other stuff. I think he's touched by my enthusiasm.
Arriving back at ever beautiful Senja.

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