UKH

Ice climbing/guide Tromso

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 brunoschull 24 Nov 2022

Hi.  I'm heading to Tromso with my family over the Christmas holiday.  It's a family vacation, but I have the go-ahead to plan a day of ice climbing if possible (It's my 50th birthday in December--I think that's worth one free day to go climbing!)

  • Is there anywhere close enough to Tromso to ice climb that could be practical for a one day climb?
  • I am an experienced ice climber, but I would be happy to book a guide just to make things easier/more effecient.
  • If I booked a guide, I would love to climb something long/multipitch, which is the kind of climbing I love, but a day on ice is a day on ice, so single pitch ice cragging would be fine.
  • I have a lead rope solo and top rope solo system that I use often on ice, but before I bring all that stuff up to Tromso, I just wanted to get an idea.  Are there any small nearby crags where I could lead rope solo to the top (or walk to the top), then set up a top rope, and climb to my heart's content?

Ideas???

Tromso experts, help me out!

All the best,

Bruno

 wbo2 24 Nov 2022
In reply to brunoschull:

Bruno - some comments - I am not a Tromso local.  

Downside 1.  Tromso per se is at sea level and not certain to be especially cold at Christmas

Downside 2 is that day length in the Christmas period will be a couple of hours of dull light. Take a torch.

But there is an amazing amount of climbing inside an hours drive, so a guide should find something

In reply to brunoschull:

I have an old mate and climbing partner who now lives in Tromso and I see from her Facebook that she did her first ice climbing up there last weekend. It looked skinny but they were putting screws in and there was virtually no snow about, so no over head avvy risk. I'm sure she wouldn't mind answering a few questions if you want me to put you in touch. 

> Is there anywhere close enough to Tromso to ice climb that could be practical for a one day climb?

Yes - quite a few possibilities from what I remember - from ice in old quarries basically in the town, to some bigger venues in the surrounding areas.

> If I booked a guide, I would love to climb something long/multipitch, which is the kind of climbing I love, but a day on ice is a day on ice, so single pitch ice cragging would be fine.

I just checked on google maps - just less than two hours to get you to the big ice on the east side of Lyngen, either by the ferry, or round the longer way on land. There is a guiding company that works out of Lyngseidet I think - Northern Lights Guiding I think?

 Hannah V 24 Nov 2022
In reply to brunoschull:

Its been cold and dry down at sea level for nearly 2 weeks now so there is probably already some ice forming down low. Kroken is a popular area for going ice climbing after work, on the mainland just the other side of the bridge from Tromsø island itself. Might not fulfill your need for multipitch though

Otherwise probably Signaldalen is usually a good bet for ice climbing as its located further inland and has a much colder climate than Tromsø. Not sure how Senja fairs in terms of ice around Christmas but you could always ask Bent Vidar Eilertsen at Senja Lodge. Its about 1 hour drive + 45 minute ferry ride + a bit more driving to get to Mefjordvær where he's based.

There are a lot of local "guides" around in Tromsø but if you want a certified UIAGM guide then the only one I know of actually living in Tromsø is Magnus Eriksson https://tromsomountainguides.com/

If he's unavailable during that period he could probably put you in touch with someone who can help you out.

Hope that helps!

In reply to Hannah V:

I know Bent was climbing ice last Xmas period and although its a trek as Hannah says, if you can persuade the family to have a night away then Senja is turbo epic and so beautiful Im sure they’d enjoy the change of scene! Plus Bent is a dude!

 wbo2 26 Nov 2022
In reply to brunoschull:I'd agree Senja is wonderful and worth a visit but you drive over Kvaloya to get there, plus you're up a bit, so it strikes me as a better bet. 

 Where are you staying in Tromsø? And who has a recommendation for Senja... 

I wasn't 100% convinced with where i stayed..

In reply to wbo2:

The last time I was on Kvaloya is down below, it would seem a shame to drive past all that to get the ferry to Senja, although Senja is very nice too. Anyway I reckon going east from Tromsø is a good idea. Lyngen ice is ace.

Post edited at 22:05

 Hannah V 27 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Yes Kvaløya is also a great area (I ought to know since I live on Kvaløya...) but the question was about finding ice to climb and as far as I know Senja tends to have better ice climbing than Kvaløya, though it might be possible to find some ice and mixed stuff around Grøtfjorden. Although if horizontal ice is desired Kvaløya has plenty of lakes to go skating on right now 😅

But yes as you pointed out east of Lyngen can also be a good place to head for ice.

In reply to Hannah V:

If you live there, have you done the Ersfjorden traverse in summer? I think I'm remembering the name correctly - the ridge to the north of the fjord. I've seen pictures of Finnish contacts doing it in recent years and there's a couple of lines in the old guidebook, but I've not found out much more about it. 

Bruno, I forgot to add that the valleys running inland south of Lyngen, Tamokdalen and Signaldalen, both have lots of ice climbs in them. If you find a guide or partner - I would think they are even closer to Tromso than the Lyngen falls, they have a reputation for being colder too, further from the sea.

 wbo2 27 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

Good you ask about Ersfjord as well as I've only just seen that, and I'm curious how much technical climbing there is.  

 Hannah V 27 Nov 2022
In reply to TobyA:

No I've not done the Ersfjordtraversen - still one of several ridge traverses that's been on my to-do list... From what I've heard the climbing doesn't exceed a 4 but a lot of the difficulties can be avoided by going around. A local dude "ran" the whole thing in just over 4.5 hours a few years ago!

A very brief description in English can be found on the Norsk Tindeklubb page:

https://www.ntk.no/topo/ersfjordtraversen/

Another well known local guy (also a very fit runner) has a good description in Norwegian:

https://kugo.no/2014/08/ersfjordtraversen/

In my experience a lot of the ridge traverses on Kvaløya don't get scrambling or climbing grades, they are either described as having "lutfige passasjer" (airy passages, usually just short bits with grade 2/3 scrambling) or ones where you ought to have a rope with you   


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