/ UKC Winter Conditions - Valdres, Hemsedal & Lærdal

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Jamie Simpson - on 12 Dec 2016

Winter season 2016 to 2017

Some useful links:




It has been a slow start to the season with regular storm cycles brings warm wet weather, and not the snow we had wished for. Unstable is the key word. Ice has developed in all the key areas and as often the case forms abundantly in seasons with poor snow.

Reports in off climbing in Hemsedal on ice and mixed routes. Pictures of ice development and climbing in the valley. For example Rjukandefossen and Golsjuvet (care with ice over the rivers as reports in saying its thin / not fully safe / open). Pictures of an icy Flaggetfossen have also been seen. Reports in of mix climbing in Skogshorn and other venues.

In Vang (Valdres) less reports due to being less popular than Hemsedal. Ice has formed, however the classics like Langåni was forming but not complete. Drøsja was a waterfall when Drove past last thursday (8/12). The smaller falls to the right of the above classics are formed and look good due to the lack of snow (i.e. bigger than normal). Other falls not documented are forming and if you look about some interesting falls can be found ;)

Beitostølen area: We snowshoed in last week. Grønolenfossen was in and looking good. Being high it will survive the warm spells, however due to it facing south only has a short season.

Fagernes: Hyllebekken (or Hyllefossen depending on who you chat with) has been climbed regularly and looks good.

Bagn: I only got a drive by look from the bus last week. Needs more time, but not much longer, and could be worth a visit. Haven't seen Stavedalen unfortunately.

Lærdal: Drive by / rubber necking with the wife shouting "watch the road" Upper Lærdal ice but not fully formed and after the warm spell looking like they needed some cold days. Lærdal always gets loads of ice when there isn't any snow. Mid to lower Lærdal, not looking good at the moment (Seltunfossen was a waterfall). Although Kjørlifossen (Lower Lærdal) viewed quickly from the car (seen from the village of Mo up Råsdalen) was visible. I am amazed when everything else has fallen down this always seems to be there.

Continuing in the car to Bergen the dramatically beautiful Gudvangen!!!! Ice had formed but it was so warm / raining. It will return

Skiing: Not even bothered to be honest. Some keenies have been out and as usual saying wonderful things and at the same time saying use old skis. After a few months away from the planks some Norwegians say anything with skis on is just so great. I´m waiting... maybe I am snob.

As usual always interested in info, post and pictures (especially if they are from Valdres, Hemsedal or Lærdal)
Post edited at 16:33
Jamie Simpson - on 16 Dec 2016
Had a "drive by" Hemsedal on Wednesday before a meeting. Took some pictures which are up on FB (Valdres Fjellguider).

In brief: Dry, very. Grøtenutbekken looked to have a gap in it. Haugsfossen looked thin with holes (difficult to get a really good look because of trees. Grøtenutmiget looked formed but thin in places and longer than normal (due to lack of snow). Torsetfossen looked thin (didn't really get a good look at it due to distance and trees). Hydnefossen formed but looked much thiner and skeletal compared to what I have seen before.

Skurvefjell looked dry. Saw some pictures of people climbing on it yesterday, possible Pastral 1. Looked like a summer route.

Skogshorn looked snowier, but still dry. Saw lights I think on lett vinter at about 5pm.

Big Lee - on 17 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Grøndalen also very dry. Second pitch of Vøllokula has partially disappeared. Skogshorn and Skurvefjell looked totally black from across the valley today/yesterday. Looked to be loads of ice forming around Hemsedal a couple of weeks ago but recent warm spells look to have really set things back. Forecast to be 9 degrees on Skogshorns summit tomorrow night! Hardly any snow.
Elevator - on 18 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

You wouldn't have any information about the current state of routes around Setesdal by any chance would you??
Nick Harvey - on 18 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hi Jamie, we're headed up Lyngen way this year so prob not really all that relevant to us but reading with interest regardless so thanks for posting.
Jamie Simpson - on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to Elevator:

Unfortunately no information on Setesdal.

Jamie Simpson - on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to Big Lee:

Thanks for posting:

Yesterday Sunday the 18th December took a tour to Filefjell to try a route. On the drive in -7 in Vang plus degrees by lunch. Langåni and Drosje two classics in the area not in, however routes to the right of these look reasonable and due to lack of snow longer than normal.

After 8m of thin rather unsatisfactory ice, and using up all my "get out of jail free cards" i.e. stubby ice screws, warthog and tied off ice screw we decided to beat a retreat and come back another day. Shortly afterward it poured down which instantly froze on everything. Nice.

Generally conditions not good, however you can find things to climb which do turn out to be rather good. Best drive about and not focus to much on the guide book.
TobyA on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to Nick Harvey:

When are you going Nick?


Some Finnish mates were skiing above Rjukan a couple of weeks back and seemed to be having a great time! Not been myself but there is a resort there isn't there?
Nick Harvey - on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to TobyA:
Last two weeks in February. Quite excited despite too little training. Assuming such things are out of scope for you these days with school hols dictating?
Post edited at 11:37
TobyA on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to Nick Harvey:

Yeah, but a friend is renting a house out for a couple of months up there this winter, just west of Lyngseidet. I'm not certain but I might try to go for a week during the Easter holidays but obviously skiing would be the main aim - not sure if anyone one else there might be a climber.
Jamie Simpson - on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to TobyA:

Yes, its called Gaustablikk Skisenter.
GarethSL on 19 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Sunndal is experiencing extended wet and warm weather, with many of the ice lines being open streams.

Oppdal "så klart"... Most of the major lines are in. Plenty of routes being done.

FB uses can follow here *shameless plug*:
Jamie Simpson - on 21 Dec 2016

After a somewhat pessimistic outlook over the last weekend the forecast is for snowy colder weather. While many classics routes are not in, fallen down, many less known and equally good routes that normally fall off the radar remain to be climbed. Even after this warm spell these routes will remain and now the cold has returned optimism returns.

I'm off to London for Christmas this year and won't be back until the 27th December.

Up dates always welcome (especially from Valdres, Hemsedal and Lærdal - big hint).

GarethSL on 21 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:
> (especially from Valdres, Hemsedal and Lærdal - big hint).

I only do it to annoy you. ;)
Post edited at 10:34
Jamie Simpson - on 21 Dec 2016
In reply to GarethSL:

At least Oppdal is closer than Lyngen, Setesdal and the rest.

I might seek revenge and start posting on the wonderful fb site you guys run ;) Pictures of "too good to be true ice falls" in Valdres with very very pretty people climbing them. Which is of course is true in every detail, I Just dont go on about that to much

Merry Christmas everyone, and hoping Santa delivers a map Norway indicating the ice climbing areas (bah humbug).

ps May be we could meet up and climb together one day. I ran a ice climbing course in Oppdal for DNT Trondheim a few years ago and it looked really impressive.
Post edited at 11:40
GarethSL on 21 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

> I might seek revenge and start posting on the wonderful fb site you guys run ;) Pictures of "too good to be true ice falls" in Valdres with very very pretty people climbing them. Which is of course is true in every detail, I Just dont go on about that to much

Any tips are welcome!

> ps May be we could meet up and climb together one day. I ran a ice climbing course in Oppdal for DNT Trondheim a few years ago and it looked really impressive.

Absolutely, let me know if you are around, I'm eyeballs deep with work finishing my phd so have only managed one route this season. So keener than ever to get out. Also desperate to check out Vang and the areas around Valdres, for a change of scenery.
wbo - on 21 Dec 2016
In reply to Elevator:
Haven't been Setesdal, have been to Ådneram though. Most everything that was there a few weeks ago has melted/been washed away.

Have been to Sunnmore, went running in shorts......
Big Lee - on 25 Dec 2016
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

I was in Hemsedal and Valdres last week. Posted some stuff on my blog here for anybody interested.

Conditions were very poor and lean but we managed to keep climbing for the first half of the week. Eventually we gave up though and headed further east. It looks like the snow has returned now so hopefully they'll be some mixed conditions at least. The ice looked in desperate need for some more stable cold temperatures.
Jamie Simpson - on 31 Dec 2016
I´m back!

Arrived home with cold temperatures and 10cm of powder snow (just enough to hid the sheet ice in the garden).

Unfortunately the cold did not last and another storm rolled in with plus temps and high winds. Took a drive up to Vang in Valdres today and was shocked and horrified at the state of things (or lack off). Langåni area: Nothing. even the normally reliable falls to the right of Langåni are stripped. Even the falls in the shady side of the valley have significant holes in.

High up around Filefjell: Things buried by wind blow snow at the moment. While trying to check out another fall with worsening weather on the mountain pass the local snowplough driver stopped me and explained the road was now closed go home

Hemsedal: Havet been only second hand info: Golsjuvet proving to be popular and reliable by all accounts. Sounded a bit crowded. Higher up not all together promising reports.

Well the storm will pass tonight (31/12/2016) and colder temperatures will return with snow high up Things will improve and with more stable weather and colder temperatures things will build again.

The start of the winter has been unstable, with fluctuating temperatures and little precipitation. Not the greatest start, but I am optimistic it will improve.

Happy New year to you all.

Jamie Simpson - on 04 Jan 2017
Update: 04/01/17

Drove to Oslo yesterday, down Bagnadalen (E16 from Bergen to Oslo runs down this brand valley).

Out of Fagernes I rubber necked and saw Hyllebekken looking formed (not sure of ice quality as it was plus 7 the other and yesterday -7). On the way to Bagn I saw what I think Kyrjukulen (might have been Saujukulen) which looked formed.

On the zig zags down to Bagn I looked at Dammen, that looked formed although a bit skeletal on the top pitch. "Fossen bortafor Dammen" looked formed (difficult to see and access as you need to cross the ice). Gul fossen was also formed.

Driving down Bagnadalen. I was amazed at how much ice has formed. There is so little snow many icefalls I have never seen are exposed. Some quite impressive falls often partially buried are formed.

Leite foss south of Bagn was formed and looked quite strange without snow about it. Almost certainly longer because of this.

Saw some other ice lines not document on the west side of the valley a bit north of Kristiansmokollen

Getting colder now but still very little snow. -10 in Bagn yesterday and about -5 in Vestre Slidre today.
Big Lee - on 04 Jan 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

I was high up around Hemsedal at weekend. Skogshorn looks in spring condition. Rock buttresses are dry. Doesn't look from the forecast as though things will change as little snow is expected, plus plenty of clear days (it's south facing).

Ice in Øvredalen was fat, although brittle ice (brittle ice on everything I've climbed the last couple of weeks). No mixed climbing needed on bratta or renna. Very little snow on the approach.

Hydnefossen still looked unclimbable. No running water now but the big holes are still present from the last warm spell. Midtlinja was washed away. Veslehorn looked vaguely in mixed condition despite the lack of new snow but there could be a lot of dry rock at closer quarters.

Have tried to avoid Golsjuvet but friends told me it was just the 4s in nick. People weren't even toproping hovedsøyla last weekend.

Happy to provide updates from Gudbrandsdalen next weekend Jamie ;-)
Jamie Simpson - on 05 Jan 2017
In reply to Big Lee:
Thanks for the up-date. Gudbrandsdalen looks an ace place.

Up-date: 04/01/17.

In prep for an avalanche course I am running tomorrow I took the skis and headed up to Filefjell. About -4 yesterday. Today(05/01) -14 down in the valley. In Vang valley nearly no snow, however you drive up to Filefjell and there is quite a lot. Recognisance complete, avalanche course a go. Good conditions if you choose the right line and with the current avalanche forecast attention to terrain is a must if you want to travel safe (picture of ski conditions on fb ).

After this mini tour and checked out ice conditions:

It is amazing with just a few days of the cold temperatures how quickly ice builds. Many of the classics in Vang will be claimable again soon.
Post edited at 09:00
sanguine - on 10 Jan 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:


Looking forward to giving Langåni as well as the other Vang routes a crack again this year. Aiming for end of this month with accommodation booked in advance. Just wondering if you or anyone else here has been past these routes recently and seen if they are indeed touching down yet?

Jamie Simpson - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to sanguine:

Haven't seen it for a day or so. Last friday it was forming, with the current weather it will form for sure. I´ll try and get some pictures this Friday as I will be traveling past it on the way to run an avalanche course at Filefjell.
Jamie Simpson - on 14 Jan 2017

Was climbing in Vang on Friday afternoon. Quite a lot of variation in ice quality, protect-ability on the route we did.

Drove past Langåni afterwards, however it was dusk so didn't get a very good look. Forming still, could see the top pillar had touching down but not as fat as it normally looks. Still sometime to get into shape.

Pictures on our social media sites of the route we climbed to dark to take pictures of Langåni.

Skiing: Still challenging in Valdres, however if you choose the right aspects its possible to find some good skiing in the forest zone. Actually looking at the smiles on the avalanche course today, it was very good in the birch woods. Above the woods.... a bit challenging.

Post edited at 16:12
Jamie Simpson - on 20 Jan 2017

After a cold spell and much optimism the unstable weather has returned with another storm. Last Sunday I ran an avalanche course with the morning temperatures at -20. Nice a chilly. By Tuesday evening it was back to plus degrees and will remain warm until Sunday.

It will get colder again next week, what the ice will be like, if its anything like already, a lot of variation.

It is possible to find routes in, you might just need to move about a bit and modify your goals.

I hope to be more optimistic next week when it gets colder again.

A strange season in Valdres, as I look out the house window I see grass in the fields on the other side of the lake. I have never seen that in January before.
sanguine - on 26 Jan 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Partner and I aiming to be in Vang for the weekend now, for better or worse. Will report on how things are there over the weekend - hopefully some lines are open, though we shall have to see after the warm week that has been had up there. Any thoughts from anyone?

We will be staying at Kjeldeskogen Cottage if anyone wants to swing by in the evening for a cuppa and a chat etc,

Jamie Simpson - on 26 Jan 2017
In reply to sanguine:

There loads of ice about, not always in the right place You should find something to climb and although temps have been up and down there is very little in the way of substantial melt.

Running another avalanche course this weekend at Filefjell, so I am not sure I can drop in for tea. Unfortunately as I like Tea, a lot.

Good luck the weekend!
Jamie Simpson - on 30 Jan 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hemsedal: Sunnyside is out, the shaded side is in and by accounts good. Golsjuvet has been reported and looks good while Rjukandefoss in Tuv (just north of Hemsedal) is reported to be open water / not good. other areas are also reported good.

Vang: Sunside-classics are out. Shaddy-side continues to be in.

More snow arrived, but still very dry. Icefalls needing snow to continues feed them have very thin this year while other often unrecorded falls are in and I have never seen them before. This could mean they get buried or they just dont form in normal years.

Skiing (offpiste). Brutal. Some new snow has arrived which will help. The snow pack right now is interesting with active week layer made of facets crystals and the bottom 10cm or so being mixed forms include depth hoar. In the years of little snow you often get the most interesting snowpacks and within 10m you see grass.

A strange year, however still things to be done if you look about and willing to be flexible.
sanguine - on 01 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Just back now from three days in Vang.

The long sunnyside routes (to reiterate from earlier posts) are still out. Indeed, it appears on Langåni that a large chunk has fallen off the first major ledge where the usual ice-grotto would form.

Nonetheless we managed three excellent days of climbing.

In Sanddalen (entry valley to Jotunheimen) we found a nice route ascending through several light grade falls (WI3 to WI4) and finishing with an excellent mixed route to the 'summit' - essentially an exit crack to the top. Am sure it has been climbed before, but you never know - perhaps not this variation but who's counting. If a topo or description is needed please ask and I will upload it. Total ascent from car to summit was around 800 m I think.

Day 2 we found a Krokan style crag just north of Oye - parked the car just north of the mine where the signs for the Kongevei (King's Road) and walked back south a bit. Multiple lines with lengths between 15 to 40 m from WI3 to WI5 there - lots of fun.

Day 3 - following a FB post by Valdres Fjellguider we found the falls on Hugastølvegen - if you do drive here make sure you have chains or good grip on the tyres as the road is almost a WI2 in itself! This was full of opportunity also, and we managed two lines from WI4 to maybe WI4+ (there were other longer lines but it was a bit warm).

Looking at the temperatures descending in the valley I would say that Vang may soon be coming into even better form. However, in summary, the lack of main attractions (Langåni, Skerve i Oye, Drojsa) did not deter us from having an excellent trip.

Logistics - we stayed at Kjeldeskogen Cottage at a price of 300 NOK per person per night (max 5 occupants I think - we were 2) - very cosy and the owner Inger is a terrific host. She even allows dogs to stay if you wish. It was plenty warm to dry our gear out and there was a full kitchen also. Contact her directly for the best price

There are huts available in the valley also at the camping in Vang but I am not sure if these are open in the winter.

Jamie Simpson - on 01 Feb 2017
In reply to sanguine:
Great info: Day 3 falls on Hugastølvegen. You didn't find any ice screws did you? I lost a new e-climb ice screw possible in the birch trees To other interested parties the road up, inviting as it may seem should be assessed with caution. its not steep but very icy this year. One day when it was covered in a thin veneer of powder we tried to drive up. Lost control and started sliding, with increasing speed back down. We stopped after 50m. By this time both Gudbrand and I had undone our seatbelt and had the door open. I was half out the door.

Hemsedal today: Sunny side out. Shady side in. Today second day of ice-climbing course we went to Flaggetfossen. In great shape, and as there is so little snow, more ice than normal We also did a route to the right 2 to 3 pitches of easier ice and in the sun, which was a bonus as it was -19 when we started ;)

Other info: The following have been climbed recently (as in the weekend) Gosljuvet, Bøttnebekken, Helgesetbekken, Øvre Lauvdøla, Flagetfossen & Hydalsfossen. Some people told me Rjukandefoss was open (as in the water at the bottom), however it isn't but should be treated with caution. The grade 3 route is a waterfall but the rest give or take is climbable.

Due to the lack of snow there are falls that are in that I have never seen before Due to the sudden cold snap (-20 when we drove over to Hemsedal today) the outer layers of ice are very brittle. Some rather alarming large scallops of ice on the edges of bulges require a bit of caution.

Bagn: In, however reports of brutal hard brittle ice due to this cold snap.

As always picture on our social media sites
Post edited at 17:29
sanguine - on 02 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hi Jamie - unfortunately no ice screws found - sorry

If you find yourself up on the Sanddalsstolen route someday have a look out for two Petzl Laser Speed Lights - like a proper tw*t I dropped one and the other fell off my shitty BD ice screw holder (have upgraded to Petzl Caritools since then)

Re-iterate the same experience with Hugastølvegen - not steep at all except when the car slides towards the edge with no barrier - was much happier to take an above gear fall on the ice than that drive back - I empathise with the feelings of wanting to bail on that road entirely!

Furthermore, do you have a feeling for how conditions would be in the valley in March? I am thinking of making another trip then if I can swing it. I suppose it's hard to predict with the year being the way it has been so far.
Jamie Simpson - on 02 Feb 2017
In reply to sanguine:

Went to Hugastølvegen today for the last day of the climbing course, unfortunately both falls had sprung a leak due to the recent cold snap Went further to Filefjell and found a really cool bluff of ice that tucked all the boxes for the last day

The road, just enough powder snow to hide the ice. I completely chickened out and walked the road today ;)

If I am in Sanddalsstolen and I see your ice screws I´ll certainly return them.

Normally the routes on the shady side last well into march, but this year? I'll keep you posted. Actually today Langåni and Drosje and the other routes to the right all looked to be forming again. If they will come in or even be any good is any bodies guess.
mick taylor - on 03 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hey Jamie!

I'm lolling my proverbials off at the thought of you nearly bailing out of your car !! Do it next time, and take some photos.
killadam on 06 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Anyone knows the name of the ice at the other side of the lake at Vang, around Lerhol farm?
Also, any chance to climb above Vang towards Beitostolen?
Jamie Simpson - on 06 Feb 2017
In reply to killadam:
You mean the really high fall stretching the hight of the cliff? If so its called Langåni (WI5 / 6). To the right (climbers right) is Drosje (WI4). More info

The terrain between Vang and Beitostølen (Slettefjellet) is quite undulating, however there are a few deeper valleys like Sanddalen and Rysndalen.

When you say Vang towards Beitostølen do you mean, between these locations or at Beitostølen? At Beitostølen or to be more precise down in the valley (Beito) there are a few ice climbs. In a small side valley called Kalvedalen there are a few falls of interest. From Beitostølen on a clear days if you look to a mountain called Mugnetind there is an obvious fall halfway up the motion called Mugnetindfossen. Ski approach. Has a long long season. When you stand in Beitostølen and look to the mountain called Bitihorn you can see stretching climbers left a band of cliffs that run to a lake called Fleinsendin. There is a good fall in this area that probable by now has been eaten by the sun. Gronolen-Fossen (WI-4)

Down from Beitostølen is a great little route called Hyllebekken. Easily seen from down town Fagernes.
Post edited at 21:30
Jamie Simpson - on 09 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:
Up-date: 09/02/2017:

Todays mini-mid week adventures was to Øya in Vang. Obvious icy crags above the village just before the roads does some crazy zigzags. The walk up was easier than last year (we swam in the loose snow) and due to the lack of snow in the valley was mainly over some loose snow covering tree branches. The routes are slimmer than last year. We climbed a route to the left of the crag in two pitches of about 3,4 grade. Good climbing, brittle ice (it was -16 when I left home earlier today) and often challenging with ice screw placements due to the first 2cm being very dry brittle ice. Often the screws would bite and then after bit stop screwing in and then become loose again.

More updates on our social media site:

Has snowed a bit, just enough to hide all the flat ice, which is seemingly everywhere ;) Its like playing Russian ice roulette going to the wood shed.

"Thwack-ability" of ice: Dinner plating, but not alarmingly. Ice crew placement challenging. Cold, best not to faff about by the car, just get out and dash to the crag.

As ever updates always welcome
Post edited at 15:24
Jamie Simpson - on 15 Feb 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

While Ice on the sunny side is now looking rotten, the shady side continues to be good and if anything improving in quality. Todays little adventure to us to a new training crag at Filefjell. While ice on the sunny side forms readily it takers a while to mature on the shady side of the valley; these falls often last well into march / april. Due to the lack of snow some of these falls look really different than the normal years.

Jamie Simpson - on 16 Feb 2017
If you want to see some pictures of ice conditions with gone all modern and joined instagram our name is Valdresfjellguider

Appart from the freezing rain today ;) , its looking nice and cold for the rest of the week.
Jamie Simpson - on 27 Feb 2017

Up-date of sorts: After a cold spell without snow the best ice continues to be on the shady sides of the mountains. Reports in of climbing occurring all over the area and at all grades. Reports in of quite brittle ice during the coldest sells. At the end of last week a storm rolled in brining long awaited snow. The avalanche risk in the areas increased dramatically, however even with all aspects containing at last two avalanche problems and many danger signs (whumpfing sounds, cracks, medium size avalanches and the like observed everywhere) it was still possible to find safer terrain to get some ski turns in. In the Filefjell area (Valdres) some excellent skiing within the forest could be found. On Sunday we went a little higher on some less than 30 degrees terrain and found good skiing. I would not want to go on slopes over 30 degrees right now or under a steep slopes for that matter.
sanguine - on 08 Mar 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

So I'm heading back up to Valdres for some more ice and mixed adventures. The last time we were there we took advantage of the mild conditions to access Sanddalen and climb what we believe to be a FA of ice/mixed. Hopefully we can still access the valley (bringing chains this time to be sure) for some more lines to climb. I presume the big sunnyside routes are all out now, so we shall stick to the shady side - have there been any more developments there Jamie? We will be staying at the main camping spot in Vang if you are around If anyone else is about, be sure to give us a shout also.
Jamie Simpson - on 13 Mar 2017
In reply to sanguine:

Sorry missed your post. Was running another avalanche course at the weekend. How did it go?
sanguine - on 15 Mar 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Went ok after a bit of humming and hawwing. We hoepd to get back up to Sanddalen, but the motor wouldn't get us up the road. On day 1, we had a look up one ravine about 1km west of Sanddalen looking to see if there was any interesting mixed or ice routes. We found one possible line, logged for the future, but the rest of the way up was wading through thick snow for what seemed like forever so we gave up and headed home. Day 2 we returned to the fall on Hugakollen and tried out some other variations - we walked up the road this time, which provided a decent warm up and some good climbing. We then went to Oye and parked the car near the new bridge construction and climbed a short fall above the forest there (easily seen from the road) - was short and hard and a fun end to that day. On the last day we drove early to Hyllebekken and completed that route in 2 pitches - was worth the detour.

All in all a good trip, though disappointed about not getting back up Sanddalen. Had we though harder about it, then we could have just gotten up in Alpine time, and walked up the 3-4 km or so along the road - not really that hard to be honest. I am convinced there are more fun lines to be had up there that would be worth even camping in the valley. Maybe next time someone can give us a lift on a scooter? We noticed a fair number of tracks around the valley. Or even a dog team?! That would make for one hell of an interesting climbing trip!!

We will indeed be back next winter, and I have several stoked partners wanting to get away from Rjukan for a spell.
Jamie Simpson - on 15 Mar 2017
In reply to sanguine:

Good to her you got something done. Sorry I didn't reply to your earlier email. There is lots to go at in Vang, especially on the new route front. I imagine the gigantic cliff running the full length of Vangsmjøse with its intricate walls and deep gullies did not fail to catch your eyes. AN amazing cliff with only a handful of routes. I hear the approach is somewhat challenging (one story was man eating boulders filled with powder snow. Actually both sides of this lake have a wealth of potential.

It might be possible to organise a scooter up one of the valleys, not sure who to ask. I´ve been told its illegal to drive scooters around the hills so you might need to go on skis.

I have been thinking about trying to organise a meet in Vang for next year. What would people think about that?
sanguine - on 15 Mar 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Glad to hear that you are busy Despite the mild season. Yes, there would appear to be plenty of opportunities along that wall/region. It was indeed up one of those gullies where we had a walkabout. This is as about as far in as we got: 61.176295, 8.450887. As you noted, there were plenty of snow covered boulders - not enough snow to making the going easy, but just enough to put us in knee/ankle busting territory. Was slow going at first, but we did see some potential up there.

If the scooter doesn't go, then skis/shoes it will have to be. To be honest, I think Sanddalen offers more, at least from a roadside viewing. The inner gullies seem choked with decent ice in comparison to the walls facing the Vangsmjøse, but either way, there is a lot to be exploited there in good winter style.

A meet sounds like a great idea! I would be in there like swimwear. Me and at least two partners would be tagged, and I am sure I could convince a few other nuts to chip in. Between the known and the unknown, there is enough there to keep anyone satisfied.

I will have two trip reports finished soon-ish and can link them here for anyone who wants to know more about what the region offers.

Lone Rider - on 16 Mar 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Hello Jamie, wondering if there was much recorded in the Uvdal area as was there for a week for other reasosns but conditions weren't great so did a bit of hill running. Spotted a few lines from the road which getting to look more difficult than the actual climbing. Various icefalls lurking amongst the trees and nothing recorded on UKC. What Norweign site would have details of this location if any? Cheers
Jamie Simpson - on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to Lone Rider:

I dont have any information on climbing at Uvdal. This doesn't mean to say there isn't.

Its quite often the case you see a wonderful line high up on the hillside and then wonder how you would ever get to it. Steep birch covered hillsides, with unconsolidated snow , the occasional gorge, man eating boulders and the like.
wbo - on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to Lone Rider: try googling Uvdal klatring or isklatring. But most stuff is unrecorded - Norway is a big place. Even in areas with guidebook s most stuff is unrecorded

DanielJ - on 19 Mar 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:
We where over in Hemsedal/Ål the last two days. Climbed Storesvullen and Petit Svull on Friday, both really good climbing, bit warm and wet, they catch sun til noon. On saturday we climbed midtlinja on Hydnefossen, varied ice quality and wet but manageble. Seasons not over til its over!
Jamie Simpson - on 03 Apr 2017

Although it might be possible in high shady sections to find climbable ice, I would think from what I have seen.... Its over for the season.

There is still some ice in quantity on the shaded sides of the valleys however it has been warm during the day and night recently and from what I can see the ice looks rotten.

Now we shift to spring skiing and alpine climbing in the longer warmer days in the Jotunheim and rock climbing in the sun in the valleys
Post edited at 08:11
TobyA on 03 Apr 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Lots of ice still in Lyngen i was told yesterday by friends up there. Snow to sea level and cold still.
Jamie Simpson - on 05 Apr 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Didn't you study geography at uni? ;)
TobyA on 05 Apr 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

> Didn't you study geography at uni? ;)

Only for one year as it was reputedly the easiest ordinary to pass!

I do know you are the other end of Norway and not covering Troms, I just thought others might be interested. I'm going next week expecting just to ski but my mate told me to bring tools and screws because supposedly all the ice falls are still fat up there!
RichT - on 06 Apr 2017
In reply to Jamie Simpson:

Still some fat ice to be found. Quick break from family skiing this morning and found Hydalsfossen to be very much all there. A bit damp higher up but much better than we had hoped for given the state of things in the main Hemsedal valley.

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