/ Ice climbing at new year - where has most reliable conditions?
I was looking at Norway but the prices and availability over the holiday period are proving an issue.
I keep coming back to thinking about Italy or France, but I'm worried that late December is still too early in the season to be reliable. Any input would be most appreciated.
By Norway do you mean Rjukan? Or is it turning out to be a problem elsewhere as well?
> By Norway do you mean Rjukan? Or is it turning out to be a problem elsewhere as well?
We were ideally looking at somewhere other than Rjukan as I have done a week's climbing there previously. So Setesdal seemed a good plan but accommodation options appear a lot more limited. Currently Cogne and Ecrins seem the best alternative but have little knowledge on their reliability early season. All venues are still under consideration though!
Any recommendations for areas in Italy other than Cogne, which might be more reliable early season? I visited Val Splugga a few years back, which I thought was an awesome venue and a suitable altitude for more reliable conditions. I am sure there are other places besides Cogne. What about Livigno like for example, or other areas East of Cogne? I am the partner of the OP btw so this isn't a hijack :-)
Having been to both Cogne and the Ecrins, I'd have strong reservations about early ice conditions in the latter, so much so that I wouldn't even consider it as a new year venue. I've been to the Ecrins several times in January and experienced very mixed conditions there in more recent years. The last time I went was in late Jan 2012 and it was very poor there then; very poor in La Grave too although Alpe d'huez and Ceillac were ok. Cogne and nearby valleys (eg Valsavarenche and Val di Rhemes) were in brilliant condition in late January of this year and Cascades de Lillaz, for instance, seems to have been in climbable condition in the first week in January in the last few years as do the routes at the top end of Valsavarenche. So of the two, my vote would be for Cogne over the new year.
I agree that Maltatal is another contender, but it's difficult to get reliable information about early season conditions there.
Thanks for all the info guys! We decided on Cogne in the end - managed to find accommodation for two, ice conditions look to be ok, a little more light, and possibly a bit more of a party on NYE :)
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