In recent years Rjukan has become one of Northern Europe's number one places to go for ice climbers from all over the world.
There is climbable ice in the Rjukan area from the end of October through to early April. However, the best and most reliable time to visit is mid-January to mid-March. At this time, there are more daylight hours and ice will be in abundance. There is an annual ice climbing festival in Rjukan in February.
Other good places for ice climbing is the Hydnefossen Waterfall and others in Hemsedal. The region can offer climbing routes at all levels, and is a good place to go if you want to combine skiing with ice-climbing.
Eidfjord in the Hardangerfjord region is not a big place in terms of population, but with regard to ice-climbing it has a lot to offer. There are many routes of all kinds and for all levels in the area, and Eidfjord and the surrounding area is a must for any serious enthusiast ice-climber.
At the head of the Sognefjord, Lærdal has many waterfalls that freeze in winter and may be climbable, and there are many other attractions and activities in the surrounding area as well.
As a place of ice and snow, Northern Norway is in a special position with regards to ice-climbing. The area surrounding Bodø as well as the Lofoten Islands and the Lyngen Alps are all well north of the arctic circle and can offer sites suitable for ice-climbing throughout the winter. The best time to go will be late February to March, when the sunlight returns after winter-long absence.
Ice climbing without a guide is an activity best suited for highly experienced climbers. If you fancy learning or want to join an organised ice climbing trip, you can contact the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT).
The Norwegian Climbing Federation can give you more information about ice climbing in Norway. The federation is first and foremost an organisation for Norwegian members only, but they are willing to supply information to non-members. You can contact The Norwegian Climbing Federation by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find more information on Alpineguides.no and isklatring.no.
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