/ setesdal - reliable or unreliable ice?

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pebbles - on 31 May 2013
Was thinking of Setesdal for a possible trip next winter. But: there seem to be two different takes on how reliable the ice is.

the ukc article says "... the ice here is famously reliable (I once recall a 40 degree temperature difference between the inside of the car and the frozen car-park outside). A substantial height gain between the southern and northern ends of the valley also ensures that the season is fairly long, and that climbable ice can be found somewhere as early as December, continuing right through as late as April."

But the Setesdal guide (http://www.climb-setesdal.com/when-to-visit.html) s
says "Setesdal rarely provides a season of continuous ice, more commonly there will be periods of intense cold interspersed with periods of thaw."
hmm. Anyone got any more information on this?

GrendeI on 31 May 2013
In reply to pebbles:
>"Setesdal rarely provides a season of continuous ice, more commonly there will be periods of intense cold interspersed with periods of thaw."

Well that doesn't make any sense whatsoever, periods of thaw and freezing is essential for making the big, fat ice Stetesdal is famous for. In fact its pretty much essential for any ice venue. I imagine after the first ice formation (I guess around November time) the ice will be there continually for the entire season... just with periods where it's a little, err, wetter...
pebbles - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GrendeI: depends how MUCH it thaws...
GrendeI on 31 May 2013
Simon Caldwell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GrendeI:
> this is Norway

It's not unknown for much of Rjukan to be unclimably wet.

From the link - I'd imagine a trip at the end of Feb/begiunning of March this year would have been a bit disappointing - mostly above freezing, rising up to +12?
Tim Rodgers - on 31 May 2013
In reply to pebbles:
Our club, The Wanneys, visited early February this year and it was fantastic. A handful of routes had not formed properly but there was more than enough to go at all within easy reach. Some photos here - http://wanneys.ning.com/photo/albums/setesdal-norway
GrendeI on 31 May 2013
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to GrendeI)
> From the link - I'd imagine a trip at the end of Feb/begiunning of March this year would have been a bit disappointing - mostly above freezing, rising up to +12?

To my amusement yr's default page for Setesdal is Konsmo a good 100km away from the main ice areas. That said the stats for Byglandsfjord from 2012/13 don't look great, but then these observations are at valley level, anything at altitude will be considerably colder. Not to mention it will almost always be on or below freezing at night. The ice won't just suddenly disappear, the moment the thermometer tilts to red, but I imagine routes on the eastern sides of the valley will suffer the most.
pebbles - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Tim Rodgers: yum yum.
pebbles - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GrendeI: yes, it still looks pretty good to me. could get a lean year, but that would apply even more to continental ice
Simon Caldwell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GrendeI:
I'm convinced :)
pebbles - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Toreador: yay :-)
just dont do that bloody rain dance of yours when we go!
Simon Caldwell - on 31 May 2013
In reply to pebbles:
how about my sun dance?
Jamie Wakeham - on 31 May 2013
In reply to pebbles: it's fairly clear:
"The early season freeze, often with a lack of snow, usually in December through to early January.

The mid-season freeze, usually in the first three weeks of February.

The end of season frost period, when high and north-facing routes often come into their best condition, usually in the middle of March."

I was there with Steve during the last research visit before the guide was published - the 2012 winter which is noted as unusually warm - and there was still climbable ice even at worst times, you just had to go higher for it. The high crags above Highway 45 seemed the best bet if the rest of the area was thawing.

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