Below you’ll find more information about the course. If you have any further questions, please read our FAQ or write to us.
Ice climbing course in Rjukan
Learn how to climb safely on frozen waterfalls with ice axes and crampons when we explore the world of ice climbing.
See datesTrip dates Planned trips
Read moreActivity Level Some experience
Group Size Max group size
Would you like to have a go at ice climbing? Then join us on one of our courses. You don’t need experience with neither climbing or winter trips. You just need a penchant for challenges and a lack of acrophobia (fear of heights), when you fight your way to the top of the fantastic waterfalls.
When the Norwegian winter really kicks in, a whole new world emerges. The unapproachable waterfalls of summer turn into temporary playgrounds for those ready to explore the vertical element. Throughout winter, even small waterfalls turn into impressive ice falls. With the right equipment and experience, fantastic climbing adventures await.
This course focuses on equipment, techniques and the assessments needed to climb an ice fall. We think safety and accumulation of experience. This means that as the course progresses you not only get to do a lot of climbing, we’ll also enable you to explore ice climbing on your own. We’ll teach you how to assess the ice, climb efficiently and how to build various top-rope anchors for safe climbing, no matter the conditions.
During the course, we live and eat together in a cabin at Rujkan Hytte- og Caravanpark.
This course concentrates on:
- A solid introduction to ice climbing
- Safety on and around frozen waterfalls
- Climbing techniques and movement
- Ropes and fastening techniques
- Risk thinking and assessment of danger
- Making you independent and secure enough to continue your exploration of ice climbing once you’ve completed the course.
Just being in the steep winter landscape among gigantic frozen rivers is an experience in itself; going there, being there and climbing in this dramatic landscape is the focus point of this experience.
- Accommodation from arrival to departure
- All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Experienced and well-prepared guide 24/7
- Equipment such as harnesses, axes, ropes, carabiners, ice screws, first aid kit, helmets, bothy bags and emergency transmitter
- Transport to and from Rujkan
- Boots and crampon hire
- Personal equipment such as clothes and backpack
Among other things, you can hire:
- Climbing boots and crampons: DKK 600,-
Day of arrival
Arrival and check-in at Rjukan Hytte- og Caravanpark. At 19.00, we have dinner and meet and greet. No problem if you arrive later, just let us know.
We start off the day with a short presentation and a matching of expectations. We’ll go through our equipment and pack our backpacks.
Keeping an eye on the weather forecast and conditions, each day takes us to new water falls/ice crags.
This day will primarily consist of quite simple top roping with a focus on safety, technique and movement. There’s time for trial and error, time for becoming familiar with your equipment and most of all, lots of time for climbing. And we’ll also work with these topics:
- Fastening techniques and commands
- Moving on and around ice falls
- Crampon techniques
- Axe techniques
- Movement techniques
In the evening we share experiences and tips for ice climbing.
On day 2 we’ll find another ice fall suitable for the topics of the day. A short transport to the ice fall, where we start off with repeating yesterday’s technique and then work on developing climbing techniques with topics such as:
- Making use of ice formations
- Choice of routes – tactical climbing
- Resting positions – hooking/hugging
We’ll also do technical exercises such as climbing with one axe and traversing, and you’ll be introduced to fastening tools such as screws, trees and ice columns.
Today sees us working with fastening tools and anchors when we look at equalising ice screw anchors and natural anchors (trees). We’ll set up various top roping handles for climbing solo and practise the insertion of ice screws.
In the evening we plan tomorrow’s programme.
After 3 intense days of ice, winter and climbing, we spend today exploring Rjukan, reflecting on the things we’ve learned and not least, planning tomorrow’s tour.
The morning is your own to spend exploring Rjukan’s history at Museet Vemork, get warm in Rjukanbadet, enjoy a good book and a cup of hot chocolate in the cabin, or whatever you feel like doing.
We meet up after lunch to take a walk in “Upper Gorge”, where you find some of the largest and most impressive ice falls in the area.
After supper, we reflect on the things we’ve learned, plan tomorrow and talk some more about safety and procedures when you go climbing on your own.
This is the day when participants are in charge, and we travel to a “new” area. Participants will handle planning, assess routes and ice and establish handles for today’s climbing. There’ll be an emphasis on discussing subjects such as safety, assessment and techniques, and participants must make decisions based upon actual conditions and the knowledge and experience they have gained so far.
In addition to this, the day might be spent contemplating things already learnt or working with topics that crop up along the way, which the participants would like to know more about.
We complete our day by eating a delicious meal together and doing a short evaluation.
After breakfast, check-out and departure.
This course is for the participant who has a desire to explore and learn more about winter climbing. You might have done some climbing before, indoor or out, been on winter tours before, or perhaps both the winter environment and climbing are completely new topics for you.
Are you experienced or a beginner? This course is for those, who’d like to master the challenges of winter climbing. Being used to physical activity is a plus, but there are several small breaks in-between climbing where your arms can have a rest. We’re all in this together, and we help each other all the way to give everybody a good experience.
If you have any doubts about your ability to participate on this tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us; we’ll help you make the right decision.
During the course, you’ll be staying in a cabin with other participants at Rjukan Hytte- og Caravanpark. The cabins have bath, toilet and kitchen, and all beds have pillows and duvets. You bring your own bed linen. You share the kitchen and living room with the other participants, and this is where you prepare and eat your meals together.
On this course, all meals are included in the price, from supper on arrival day to breakfast before departure. During the entire course you cook together in the kitchen that you share.
Please let us know if you have any allergies or special eating habits; if you let us know well in advance, we’ll try to consider this when shopping. Remember that small surprise snacks brought from home can lift spirits on a long day.
This course requires a minimum of 4 participants, and the maximum number of participants is 6. Minimum age is 18.
This course is also sold to international participants, which gives you the opportunity to join a guide with local knowledge and meet people from around the globe. Your guide speaks both Danish and English. Anders Steen is your guide on this course. One guide: up to 4 participants.
Rjukan is in Telemarken and is, with its many rivers and stable ice through a long season, considered one of the best destinations in Europe for ice climbing. It has more than 180 icy water falls that make the area an eldorado for ice climbers. There are different levels of difficulty, relatively short approaches and several ice falls close to each other.
Apart from ice climbing, many people travel to Rjukan for cross-country skiing and off-piste in the winter and for hiking, cycling and paragliding during summer.
The ice is formed through long periods with cold weather. This means that the best ice is often found in places that the sun can’t reach, so warm clothes are essential. In addition to this, the ice can be wet, which necessitates water and wind proofed outer layers and more than one pair of gloves for climbing.
When climbing, you’re in constant motion and therefore warm, but when you’re belaying, you stand still and might get cold if you’re not properly dressed. It’s important with a thick woolly jumper or a down jacket when you’re not in motion.
Please get in touch if you have any doubts about the suitability of your equipment.
This course starts at Rjukan Hytte- og Caravanpark, 160 km north of Larvik and 170 km west of Oslo. You can take the E6 to Oslo and go west to Rjukan, or you can sail to Larvik and drive the last 2,5 hours north. You can also use public transportation; there is a direct bus from Oslo to Rjukan.
This checklist is guiding and can help you get an overview. When registering, you’ll receive a more comprehensive list with specifications, preferred makes and models etc. Equipment for hire is marked with *.
- Stiff mountaineering boots (climbing boots) *
- 12 teeth crampons *
- Inner layer
- Middle layer
- Outer layer
- Warm clothes for breaks
- Hats that will fit under your helmet
- Several pairs of gloves
- Neck warmer/buff
- Warm sweater or down jacket
- Gaiters *
- Water bottle *
- Thermos flask *
- Cutlery, plates, cups etc.
- Cream for use in the cold and moisturizer
- Personal first aid kit
- Head lamp
- Extra boots
- Repair kit
Before and after the tour
- Everyday clothes
- Bed linen
Equipment for hire from Nordisk Friluftskompani
- Stiff mountaineering boots (climbing boots)
- 12 teeth crampons
- 1 litre thermos flask and 1 litre drinking bottle
- Gaiters – for keeping snow out of your boots if your pants don’t have a tight fit
Equipment that we share – brought by Nordisk Friluftskompani
- Bothy bag – emergency shelter for 4 people
- Snow shovels – light, come apart
- First aid kit – comprehensive kit for both minor and major incidents in the winter mountains
- Emergency transmitter – InReach transmitter in case of an emergency
- Ropes, carabiners, ice screws, helmets
- Ice axes (1 set per 2 participants)
- Climbing harness