So I’m sat here in the Old School Hostel in Rjukan, Norway battered and bruised from my first attempt at Telemark skiing yesterday. But at least it gives me time to reflect on ice climbing and its developments in this tiny town in Norway.
It is even more prominent in the mind today as news has just filtered through that some poor chap has taken a large fall whilst climbing in the upper gorge area. Fingers crossed he’s going to be all right.
Anyway, last Saturday and Sunday was the 2014 Rjukan Ice Festival . People from all over the world gathered in the little town to chat, share stories, try new gear, and listen to talks. The main one being a funny and entertaining take on climbing by English climber / comedian Andy Kirkpatrick. The banter was brilliant and the opportunity to meet like minded people was a unique experience, and a strength of this organised meet!
Many of the activities during the day took place at the easily accessible “Krokan” area above the upper gorge. The picture below shows the scene; one of big sponsors, hype, and loud music!