All the key skills for climbing vertical ice

Our courses are based out of Rjukan (3 hours from Oslo), a valley interspersed with over 200 frozen waterfalls. Over the week we cover the essential skills in a variety of single-pitch and multi-pitch crags (20m-400m), all within a few minutes walk of the road.

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One of the world’s best ice climbing venues

Our instructors have spent over 500 days teaching in Rjukan between them and know plenty of the areas secrets; from our "school room area" which isn't in any guidebook to the best place to hang out with the locals after a long day on the ice.

They're based in the Old School Hostel and can be found in the evenings cooking up outrageous amounts of apple crumble or hanging out with a beer in the sauna.

We’ve set out a typical itinerary below, which we adjust depending on objectives.

Day 1: Arrival and Introductions

Most people fly to Oslo Airport and then car share for the three hour drive to Rjukan. When you sign up, we put you in touch with other participants through the Facebook event so that you can arrange this.

We meet at the hostel at around 8pm at the Old School Hostel (included in the course fee), for introductions and to collect any equipment you may need from our gear store.

Day 2: Steep Ice Technique

The first day focuses on technique and balance, including:

  • Crampon technique and mastering the axe swing
  • Balance and footwork
  • Steep ice techniques like the “monkey hang” for those who want to

We’ll be climbing in Ozzimosis, Krokan or on our own "School Room" waterfalls; all excellent single-pitch crags (20m high).

Day 3: Multi-pitch skills

Our favourite climbs for day 3 are Nye Vermorkfoss and Backvein – two 3-pitch waterfalls that weave in and out of the rock – always much easier to climb than they look from the valley floor and the photos!

Day 4: Lead climbing skills

The focus on day 4 is lead climbing protection and skills. You’ll be working on judging ice quality, placing ice screws and building v-threads (burrowed holes in the ice that you place cord through) for retreat or descent.

We do this at a great single pitch crag, with plenty of climbing to put these skills into practice!

Day 5: Alpine-style route

On day 4 we typically do a longer route with a short walk-in, such as Tjonsterbergfossen – an epic 5-pitch route with great views over the valley. The choices are almost endless however so we’ll pick routes based on the group and make sure everyone is appropriately challenged for the last day.

1. Requirements

To attend this course you must have:

  • Either summer lead climbing experience, or winter top-roping experience (e.g. our beginners course).
  • A level of fitness sufficient to be climbing for 4 full days.

2. Logistics

  • Fly into Oslo Gardermoen Airport (Ryan Air and Norwegian Air are both affordable options)
  • We highly recommend you join the Facebook event, as course participants almost always gang together to rent a car for the 3h drive to Rjukan. Most participants will also arrange to stay on for the weekend after the course to climb/ski together.
  • The price includes accomodation, instruction and equipment hire. It excludes travel insurance, food and transport.

3. Equipment

Skyhook Aventure can provide all technical equipment on our winter climbing courses.

You must bring with you:

  • Winter mountaineering boots (you can rent these from the hostel if not owned)
  • Warm clothes (at least two layers on the legs and 3 on the body of fleece or merino)
  • Waterproof clothes (trousers as well as top)
  • At least 2 pairs of gloves (waterproof if possible)
  • Hat

Availability & Prices

31 Dec 8pm
Fri 4 Jan 3pm
11 spaces
7 Jan 8pm
Fri 11 Jan 3pm
12 spaces
14 Jan 8pm
Fri 18 Jan 3pm
12 spaces
21 Jan 8pm
Fri 25 Jan 3pm
12 spaces
28 Jan 8pm
Fri 1 Feb 3pm
12 spaces
4 Feb 8pm
Fri 8 Feb 3pm
12 spaces
11 Feb 8pm
Fri 15 Feb 3pm
11 spaces
18 Feb 8pm
Fri 22 Feb 3pm
12 spaces
25 Feb 8pm
Fri 1 Mar 3pm
12 spaces
4 Mar 8pm
Fri 8 Mar 3pm
12 spaces

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1. Can I come by myself?

Absolutely yes - most people book alone. It can feel a bit intimidating, but we’ll do introductions when you arrive and you’ll get to know the others in no time!

2. How old do I need to be?

The minimum age for all our courses is 18.

3. Do I need to be fitter/stronger?

Our hand-picked locations are all great for beginners. If you're worried however, feel free to give us a call and we'll talk you through what the course involves.

4. What does the price include?

It includes accommodation, instruction and all technical equipment. It excludes travel, food, appropriate clothing and winter mountaineering boots (these can be rented from the hostel if needed).

5. Do I need insurance?

Yes - please make sure you have travel insurance which includes ice climbing. Popular providers include the BMC and Snowcard.

6. What are the options for food?

The local supermarket Kiwi has a broad selection, with equivalent prices to a higher end supermarket in the UK (e.g. Waitrose).

Just done the beginners ice climbing course in Rjukan, Norway. Alan and Lars were both excellent instructors, catering...

Posted by Meshari Alsaeed on Thursday, 21 December 2017

What a fantastic weekend! Took part in the beginners ice climbing course and it was such a great time. Friendly people,...

Posted by Rachel Hargreaves on Wednesday, 8 February 2017
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