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NORWAY ICE CLIMBING COURSES - 2018

11 Feb - 4 Mar 2018: based at AURLAND on the SOGNEFJORD

Our 2018 ice climbing courses are based in the majestic fjordlands of Western Norway. They offer a chance to learn ice techniques from beginner level and the opportunity for experienced climbers to push their grades and enjoy the thrill of climbing long vertical icefalls. On these courses we offer:-

- a huge number of icefalls - lines of all standards at altitudes from sea level up to 1400m guaranteeing conditions
- routes from single pitch up to 800m in length
- many of them with no recorded ascents
- simple access
- roadside waterfalls to grand canyons; most routes are less than an hour's walk
- fantastic snow and ice gully climbing
- exploration on cliffs up to 1400 metres in altitude
- varied venues with spectacular scenery
- we can climb in a different valley each day
- guaranteed solitude
- you won't have to queue for routes and the ice will be in pristine condition
- warm and luxurious cabins
- with a great social atmosphere at the end of each day

£50 early booking discount on Norway Ice courses booked before 31st Oct 2017

Above: The east fall of Stondalen - a mini-mecca for our ice courses 800m above Aurland (climber: Dave Kenyon) - Intro Ice course 2015

Right: First lead on the Stondalen slabs (WI3) (climber Hannah Holmes) - Intro Ice 2017

Video from 2015 courses (c) Clinton Schembri Photo Galleries: 2014 Norway Ice Course Highlights : Norway Ice 2010

COURSE LEVELS:

INTRODUCTORY ICE: course ratio 3:1: Training and instruction in pure ice climbing with multi-pitch routes of Scottish III standard (WI3) and single pitch to Scottish IV/V (WI 4) for ice beginners, plus snow and ice gully climbing. There will be opportunity to try leading on pitches of grade II/III standard under the expert supervision of your guide. We recommend that all applicants for this course should have previous rock climbing experience (indoors or outdoors) and have done some general Scottish winter or Summer Alpine mountaineering using ice axe and crampons. PRICE: £1,120

Dates: 11-18, 18-25 Feb, 25 Feb-4 Mar

ICE IMPROVER: course ratio 2:1: Aimed at regular climbers with previous experience of winter climbing who want to enjoy steeper ice coupled with genuine mountain adventure. Each course will offer a mixture of tuition and training on shorter accessible icefalls up to Scottish grade VI (WI 5+) and adventurous longer routes with real mountain challenge at WI4 to 5 standard. There'll be opportunties to lead under guide's supervision. Applicants should have previous winter climbing experience to Scottish grade III/IV plus ice of WI 3 or above, and plenty of rock climbing. This ensures that you will have the strength and stamina in arms and legs to enjoy more sustained and steeper ice routes. PRICE: £1,280

Dates: 11-18, 18-25 Feb, 25 Feb-4 Mar

TECHNICAL ICE: course ratio 2:1: For clients who have already developed the skills of waterfall ice climbing to WI4+ standard and want to expand their skills on to long, difficult and more serious routes of WI5/5+ standard with opportunity to pioneer some new routes. The course gives the chance to lead on WI4/4+ routes and to try mixed climbs. This course replaces our previosu Advanced Ice course. Applicants should have previous ice climbing experience to WI4+ and/or Scottish grade IV/V, including multi-pitch routes plus rock climbing at HVS level or above. PRICE: £1,380

Dates: 11-18, 18-25 Feb, 25 Feb-4 Mar

Course prices include 5 days Guiding and instruction, all guides' expenses, 7 nights self-catering accommodation (twin-sharing) with provision of all food for breakfast and lunch, local travel to/from the climbing venues. Travel to Norway and personal insurance are not included. We offer shared transport from Bergen airport in our hire cars at £40.00 single to Aurland.

We can advise on your suitability for the alternative courses: just call or e-mail with a summary of your experience

The final pitch of Two Bangs and a Slap (WI4) in Stondalen 2017 Technical Ice (climber: Martin Moran)

The beautiful 180m icefalls of Smor Koven (the butter mountain) at 1400m above Rasmusdalen - climbed by our Intro and Technical teams in 2015 and 2017

Valley Base and Accommodation: We have an excellent base in the town of Aurland, which lies on the southern edge of the Sognefjord . The deep valleys of Naeroydalen, Aurlandsdalen, Laerdal and Utladalen are all within easy reach and together offer some of the world's finest and most spectacular pure ice climbing. Aurland is an attractive fjord town. Our cabins - Aurland Fjordhytter - are on the shoreline and provide spacious and superbly equipped facilities, each cabin sleeping up to 6 persons. Aurland can be reached in less than 3 hours' driving time from Bergan airport.

Course timings: Courses meet on Sunday evening and depart Sunday morning. There will be five climbing days between Monday and Saturday with one day spare to allow for bad weather. That gives you a welcome rest, and the chance to take a boat trip through the amazing Næroyfjord, the famous rail journey from Flåm to Myrdal or a day's ski-ing.

Getting to Aurland: Bergen airport is served by direct flights from Aberdeen and all London airports (prices from £160 return), and has connections via Amsterdam or Copenhagen from most other UK regional airports. Access to Aurland is remarkably simple - a two and a half hour drive from Bergen airport using a system of road tunnels that provides a guaranteed route in all but the worst weather. Otherwise there is a regular fast bus service from Bergen to Aurland.

Our fjord cabins in Aurland with the Voldafossen above

Celebrations on surmounting the crux pitch of Grindsfjell Gully, Aurlandsdalen Technical Ice (climbers: Nick Owen and Pete Tapping)

Our Guides and Instructors: Our regular Norway ice staff - Martin Moran, Dave Kenyon, Robin Thomas, Joun McCune, Will Sim, Guy Steven, Donald King - are expert climbers, inspirational instructors and have the special ability to provide a sense of security on the most adventurous routes. They are qualified or aspirant British Mountain Guides (IFMGA/BMG) or highly exerienced Mountain Instructors (MIC). All our staff consider this area of Norway to be an incredible arena for ice climbing adventure.

Weather and Ice Conditions: By mid-February good thick ice has usually built up on the major drainage lines above 300m altitude and the days have opened out to offer 8 hours of climbing. A deep freeze-up can take temperatures down to -20degC with good ice forming down to sea level. Warmer westerly winds can make the ice softer and easier to climb with sea level temperatures a few degrees above zero and snow falling above 2-300m altitude. Aurland is sufficiently inland that heavy prolonged rain and snowfall is uncommon. During and after thaws there will still be good ice to climb above 700m altitude in Stondalen, Rasmusdalen and upper Aurlandsdalen

Training and Course preparation: Any keen mountain-goer with a good head for heights can adapt to ice climbing and have a great time. Some prior rock climbing is strongly advised before the course. Ice climbing does require specific strength in wrists, forearms and shoulders plus good stamina in the calf muscles. Whether you book on Introductory, Improver or Technical Ice, you should embark on a regular programme of exercise to develop this specific fitness if you want to get the most out of the course. We can advise a suggested training programme after you have booked.

Equipment Hire: We can rent technical ice climbing tools (£25 per week per tool) and crampons (£25 per week). Stocks are limited so hire gear should be booked immediately on booking.

To sense the exploratory flavour of our ice courses, here's my reaction to discovering new route potential in the Aurland region:-

"After a good day's training on the roadside falls in Aurlandsdalen we took a drive in the hour before darkness up the wild wooded gorge of Flåmsdalen, scouting for new possibilities. Had any ice climbers previously explored this valley, we wondered? We discovered exciting canyons sporting 200m ice spouts, hanging pillars high on the plateau skyline and silent cascades of blue ice running down to road level - all seemingly untouched. As night fell tomorrow's plan was quickly confirmed- by 9am we'd be at the foot of a 300 metre foot route ready for an unforgettable adventure."

A full course information pack and kit list are sent out on booking with travel details and recommended flights to Bergen

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Moran Mountain Ltd - Park Cottage - Achintee - Strathcarron - Ross-shire - IV54 8YX
Tel/Fax 01520 722361    
E-mail moranmountain@icloud.com
Director: Martin Moran
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