With another good forecast Becky and I climbed the classic WI4 of Trappfoss, partly because it is visible from our accommodation and looked brilliant from a distance. It was pretty windy this morning as we left the house, but we soon descended down into the bottom of upper gorge and out of the worst of the wind.
The going underfoot was easy until we got past Sabotørfossen, when the good track vanished and left us trail braking in up to thigh deep powder which was hard work. As we got further up the gorge the wind started to pick up again and we soon had to start making our way up a steep snow slope to the start of Trappfoss.
There was a fantastic ice formation which we had to climb past; I have no idea how it formed as it seemed to be a frozen waterfall with a horizontal roof sticking out from it before it had started to form another vertical ice fall. While we were gearing up to climb the edge of this feature another team turned up who were heading for the classic ice pillar of Juvsøyla.
We were soon at the proper base of Trappfoss where Becky lead the first easy pitch, which was her first ever lead on water ice. Upon reaching the first belay it was clear that the standard line was not climbable due to it being partly unfrozen with water running down it. I decided to head up the next obvious line, a steep icy groove which turned out to be much steeper than it looked, with ice which was not quite as good as you would have liked.
As I set up the steep pitch the ice was initially pretty crap, so was unfortunately knocking quite a lot down onto Becky, thankfully as I got into the steepest section of climbing the ice mostly improved. I was pretty lucky at one point as I nearly fell off as an ice axe ripped while I was placing an ice screw, but thankfully my lanyard on my other axe caught me which was pretty unpleasant, but better than the alternative! By the top of the steep section I was properly pumped, it was the hardest ice I have climbed yet this trip so certainly felt like a good WI5. Unfortunately the easier ground above had some fairly rotten ice on it, so careful climbing lead up to a belay.
The belay was in a stunning position overlooking the entire upper gorge. The next pitch was much easier, but again the ice wasn’t brilliant. We were soon at the top, and had planned on abseiling back down to the gorge as the walk up the Krokan was going to be hard going with all the soft snow. However, as it was so windy and we were both pretty cold we decided to just make the walk so that we would warm up, rather than spending another hour abseiling down in the wind.
The walk back to Krokan wasn’t as bad as I was expecting it to be given the amount of snow in the gorge, but it was still pretty tiring and I was glad to get back to the bridge across the river. Unfortunately this wasn’t the end of the hard going as the track back up to the road was uncleared and also had lots of snow on it. When we got back to the road we were lucky enough to hitch a ride back down with the first car that passed us.