Oh gosh, I have so many! So my favourites for climbing are Vinstradalen (ice) and Ishoel (Sport, ice and mixed), both have great climbing in a spectacular location and there is of course Henfallet if you want to get really off into the sticks! However, as I work up in Svalbard throughout the summer, there is no better contender than Hornsundtind, what a mountain!
What is the craziest thing you’ve done outside?
Crazy, stupid? Probably more stupid in this case, but any of the ice lines I’ve soloed. I like to get out on my own from time to time and test myself without worrying about looking after someone else. The craziest is probably going off alone, down an ice cave in Svalbard. With the right equipment you can get to some really wild places.
Do you have any words of advice for Gociety members looking to get outside in Norway? What are the best things to do in the fjords, best time of year to visit, etc.
Absolutely, there is nothing more your average Norwegian likes more than getting out in the mountains. They absolutely live for them, so finding someone to get out there with is dead easy! All I can say is be ready to start the conversation, Norwegians can be shy (they consider themselves cold to strangers), but the moment you talk I guarantee they are the warmest and kindest people you will ever meet.
Otherwise getting around is dead easy, the transport network is amazing; taking a plane here is no different to hopping on the bus and its one of the few places where people will gladly stop for hitch hikers.
The best time of year to go though, depends on where and for what. Norway has fantastic weather cycles. Warm summers, Baltic winters, with more snow than you could dream of and it is of course the birthplace of Telemark.
As a brief overview, summertime is best between June-September but can be wet. Skiing is best from February-April and the ice season is long ranging from November-March. All are location dependent though!
What’s hot in Norway right now? What is everyone doing?
Cross-country skiing is the biggest thing for many, ski touring/ randonee is very popular throughout spring. Hiking, camping, sport climbing and big/long trad climbing are the more popular summer activities.
Do you have any upcoming big adventures or travel plans?
Well the ice season has just kicked off in Sør-Trøndelag, so that will be my weekends sorted until sometime next spring. There’s the Rjukan ice festival going again so I will be playing around there too. Other than that it’s just to plan next summer’s research expeditions around the Arctic. I also plan to make the most of some upcoming and much needed time off. I have been missing the Alps for some time.
What activities are your expertise?
My true passion is ice climbing, I live for every minute. I very rarely rock climb any more as my summers are spend bouncing around the wilderness of east Svalbard. I do not really bother to train for the rock any more, if I do not get to climb it, but I try to climb indoors every day. Otherwise I’m a useless skier and a worse cook.
See more photos and get more info from Gareth here!