Today we headed back down to the lower gorge as with most areas here in rjukan there are just so many amazing lines you just can't do them all in one day,
Once we had located an adequate tree to abseil from to get to the base of the gorge, as this is the only way down. One by one we ab'd off, it turned out once at the edge of where we could see to at the top it was a 40m overhanging cliff.
Once down cliff and richly headed over to a route which was not in the book but was a WI3 ramp route of about 35 metres. Me and Ed went over to Swiss army a WI5 steep tower onto a an undulating ramp. In hie sight I should of warmed up both physically and mentally (school boy error). I set off up the route and got to about 3/4 of the way up the steep tower and my head went and I all I could think was to down climb and get off. At the bottom I looked back up at the route and couldn't believe how close I had got to the top and then down climbed using energy I could of used to finish the hard section off.
At the bottom I was so angry I down climbed, so I shook out and got straight back on it and climbed it happily adding one more screw before topping the hard head wall.
Video on YouTube http://youtu.be/q50kQSVJoN8
Next up was richly and he decided to do the right line of Swiss army a WI4 line up beautiful ice, this would be his final and greatest lead of the trip and one he enjoyed immensely. Once completed he retired on a high and what a route to finish on.
Next we decided to have a bit of light competition with a speed climb, I was up first and had to set a president. Of course I did with a good time of 45 seconds, next Ed with 1 min 10sec then richly who unfortunately had a fall at the top and got 1m:25sec, then came Sunderland's finest (cliff) who came in at 1m 15sec. Needless to say I was one happy camper but thought I could improve so we all went again, I still won and then my third and final attempt I managed to get 33sec which I was happy to walk away at.
NOW I felt warmed up properly and wanted to do a nice looking line I had seen the previous day called hjemreisen WI4 in the book, but today it was far steeper and fatter than shown in the guidebook. From the bottom I didn't think I would enjoy this as much as I did once completing it. It was a really good climb, steep ice all the way and great steady climbing. Highly recommended if you ever go there.
Time was getting on and me and cliff decided to do one more route with the little light we had left, so we decided on knerten. A 2 pitch WI 4 route up good ice and into an amphitheatre and the first pitch which cliff led, it then went up another steep section of ice for the final pitch. However this upper section was gushing with water, which me n cliff couldn't understand as it was -13 and in no time my gloves and arms were frozen stiff with all the water splashing and running down my axes.
A quick ab off and we were speedily packing up and off up the steep gorge side with only the thought of a Huge burger and chips from the hytteby Resturaunt, which was a hot topic of the day.(it didn't disappoint)
All in all a great days climbing to finish on and a week we have all thoroughly enjoyed and are already talking about the route we want to do NEXT TIME we are here.
Tomorrow we head home unfortunately and my only regret is that we didn't come for two weeks as I am now feeling really fit and strong and have so many amazing routes i want to do but will now have to wait for..
Rjukan....... Till next time!!!!!