During July Valdres Fjellguider had the great privilege of running a bespoke course for two enthusiastic and very fit lads from the Norwegian War School. They didn’t want an off-the-shelf mountaineering course, and we are Valdres Fjellguider where very happy to provide a bespoke course to fulfil there needs.
Day 1: Was a craging day at Båtskarret and Heklefjell near Beitostølen. The guys got stuck in with placing both passive and active climbing protection, before moving onto setting up belays and rappels. After short coffee break we ran through rope routines on multi pitch climbs before moving onto abseiling and buddy rescue. An intense day!
Day 2: Was spent on the snow; focusing on basic snow skills. This included how to stop if you fall on steep snow. This was undertaken with and without axes. After this we focused on snow belays, looking at different types; there advantages and disadvantages. After lunch we looked at and practiced rescue when in a two person rope team. This is the most common way to travel over glaciers. We looked at pulley systems, external systems and we inline. The rest of the day was taken up with one of the guys falling, and the other rescuing them. This required the climber to first arrest the fall followed by placing of a snow anchor and an additional ice axe anchor before setting up the pulley to drag there friend out of the crevasse. We looked at all the advantages and disadvantageous of each system we used as well as taking an in depth discussion about “improvised rescue”
Day 3: The plan was to set everything we had learnt in action on Store Austabotntind. However the weather shut us down and we needed a plan B! We drove down to Lom and used a really good crag in the area (after we had fuelled up at the wonderful bakery in Lom). The day was spent going through everything the guys had learnt in the last few days. They got on the sharp end and started lead climbing, setting up abseils and undertaking different styles of rescue.
At the end of the 3 days they had effectively undertaken, 2 days natural protection course, 3 days snow rescue course and a 2 days rescue course. Fit well motivated people can cover a lot in a short time.
A few days ago I saw on FB one of the guys was climbing a multi pitch route in the rain! in Telemark. This makes my heart sing 🙂 Not the rain, but that he was lead climbing!