/ Conditions report: Valdres, Hemsedal and Lærdal - Season 17/18

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Jamie Simpson - on 19 Nov 2017

Winter season 2017 / 2018

Some useful links:

weather: http://www.yr.no



Worth checking out both as they can give different conditions.

Avalanche: http://www.varsom.no

Terrain: http://skredkart.ngi.no

Pictures will be posted on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/valdresfjellguider/

Other social media outlets are: "Klatring i Hemsedal"

If you're on Instagram then "Valdres Fjellguider". Increasingly eclectic networks on Instagram are the main source of climbing conditions. Getting in the loop is the key. Normally if you post people will want to follow.

An old link that has got savvy suddenly is the state road people on www.vegvesen.no apart from road regs you can also find all the road webcams and get a feeling for road conditions/snow conditions.


In case of an emergency (none medical) Call the police 112 (or 02800 as a none emergency)
In case of a medical emergency call the ambulance 113. This will bring you directly to a person that can advise on medical situations as well as instigate the rescue.

The season:

After a very wet Autumn, the colder dry conditions have arrived.

Hemsedal: Reports in about climbing on Langesetfeltet (ice). Comments about recommending ski for transport to the falls and Øvredalen (mixed) being climbed at the weekend.

Valdres: Hyllebekken in Fagernes looks formed. Some snow on the ledges at the mo. In Vang I took a recon tour to a fall last week and thought then it needed more time. It has snowed quite a bit the last few days so I would imagine that will need some time to clear. Langåni was forming but was a long way off being complete.

Lærdal: Haven't been recently so no. info.

Skiing: Report in of some Norwegian powder! followed by the usual comments use old skis ;) It's getting there. Be patient
Langrenn: Seems to be a good start to the season with people telling me in the local supermarket what fun they have been having following those thin tracks.
Post edited at 16:52
Jamie Simpson - on 21 Nov 2017

Up-date: 21/11/17

Vang: Building nicely. Still needs a bit more time. Langåni was forming still but hasn't touched down. Drosje was still a waterfall and the others on that side are forming. Still not enough snow for these. Falls above Ala camping are forming although the left-hand pillar looked a bit narrow.

Etnerdal: This area is found between Fagernes and Dokka. Some nice falls that form regularly. "Fossen ved Madslangrudberget (Flaggsvaet)" was forming, the second pitch looked complete but the first hadn't touched down. On the other side of the valley the other falls were complete but looking thin (very little snow on this side of the valley at the moment.

Hemsedal: Ice: Word on the street that most falls need more time.

It's going to snow buckets tomorrow The rest of the week will be skiing After the next dump the ice should start to grow much faster after this dry spell.

Jamie Simpson - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Update: 26/11/2017 Some pictures on the FB site:

After the heavy snowfall during cold temps on Thursday, the temps increased to plus degrees with rain on Friday. The powder snow has now a heavy crust making tough travel conditions. https://www.facebook.com/valdresfjellguider/ and Instagram.

Vang in Valdres: Many routes formed. Shallow angle still has snow on. Roues like Lanåni hasn't full fully formed but will soon. Drosje to the right (climbers right) of Langåni needs more time. The others in the area look doable, although the slacks sections have this sugary crusty snow on. Many routes to be had. Quality unknown.

Hemsedal: Took a drive-by Skogshorn after a meeting on Friday. Pictures on the FB page. Looked wintry, snow and frosted rock. On Friday it looked like the snow would have a crust and sugar underneath, this was confirmed by a party that tried to climb a route (Demonstraten) reporting brutal travel conditions and slow going on the route. Good effort all the same.

Today, its snowing big flakes in Valdres. It will be interesting to see what the snow profile is like over the next few days.

Always tricky at the start of the season. Looks like a good start. Being flexible is the key.

Jamie Simpson - on 02 Dec 2017

Update: 02/12/2017.

After a cold dry week, the temperatures have risen today. The snowpack has a brutal crust in most places and to add to this rim crystals have been observed throughout the area.

Vang: Ice growing everywhere. On Thursday Langåni looked almost complete. The other falls in the area also looked doable. In Skakadalen a route described as the perl of Vang (45m high pillar, which can just be seen from Mjøsvang cafe in Vang) is formed and looks fat. There are also other falls in the gorge as well.

Lærdal: Reports in that routes are forming/formed. One report in on a route climbed in Aurlandsdalen, which just looked great.

As the weather has been cold and dry I would imagine the cliffs of Skogshorn will still be challenging.

Things really shaping up for some good early season climbing and skiing. Just need this crust to go away and keep the eyes open for this rim crystals when they get buried.
Tom Green on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Great updates. Thanks for going to the effort.
Jamie Simpson - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Tom Green:

Up-date: 06/12/2017

On Monday I took a ski tour to Filefjell to amongst other things check out avalanche risk for an upcoming course. Below 1200m a fairly brutal crust existed. Above this less so with fairly good skiing to be had. I wouldn't want to ski on some steep open slopes in sheltered areas at the moment as windslab overlaying facets crystals is present.

Vang: Many ice routes to be had. Skjerva i Øye found between Øya and Tynnkrysett (Filefjell) is formed. The easier pitches have loose snow on them. Ths route is approx 450 long and has two distinct steeper sections. The upper looking the more challenging. Routes by the switchbacks on the main E16 road above Øya looked in part formed. This crag, with routes up to 70m has been described as a pretty decent crag and rivals anything in Hemsedal. It contains routes between grade 3 to 5 and has a pleasant aspect and views down Vangsmjsø (Vang lake). Due to a bypass tunnel being built there is quite a lot of activity below the crag. Directly above Øya two very distinct ice pillars looking very sporting at the moment. On the Northside of Vangsmjsø (Vang lake), several ice lines are in. Further on the same side, Langåni looks doable as well as the other falls to the right of this uber classic.

Sør-Aurdal (Southern community of Valdres). On a drive to Oslo yesterday I could see the routes above Bagn where complete. Dammen was complete and as usual, the top pitch was covered in snow. Further down the beautiful Begnadalen (Main E16 to Olso goes this way) many routes observed from the car window. Cold. Bagn village is always cold. I would imagine Stavedalen is worth a look, but I have no reports of climbing there at the moment.

Aurland (Think west of Lærdal, coastal area). Pictures of an impressive 5 pitch WI5 route being climbed. I would imagine Lærdal is worth a visit.

Hemsedal: My source told me yesterday told me it was miserable with rain (In the chosen land of Valdres its dry and cold). Routes have formed, pictures of climbing. Varying reports of ice quality.

Snowed during the night, more on the way. Skiing will be good and again when the snow clears from the routes climbing.
Post edited at 09:47
AndyP - on 20:15 Mon
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hi Jamie, you're a busy lad. I sent you an email a few weeks ago.
Jamie Simpson - on 07:59 Fri
In reply to AndyP:

Sent you a mail Andy

Update: 15/12/2017

Its been at times a cold week, with temperatures in places like Hemsedal, Filefjell and Beitostølen down to a brittle -20. The valleys have been somewhat warmer at -16. With the low angle of the sun, many places (i.e. my house) don't get any sun. We don't get any direct sun for the next 6 weeks at our place.

Reports in that Skiing in Vang within the forest is good. No reports about it being good above the treeline so maybe it's not so good.

Hemsedal: Reports in of many things getting climbed, with reports of good conditions.

Valdres: Routes in everywhere at the moment. Still some snow on the slacker routes.

Temperatures will rise slightly next week, possible plus degrees in the middle of the week with a few days of snow.

Looking like a very promising winter at the moment

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