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Europe, Norway, Sognefjord, Lady Momo

Lady Momo. Outer Sognefjord and Hoyanger provide a spectacular destination for ice climbing (Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway). In some winters, when the ice conditions are good, you can climb with a view over the open sea. There is a 600m line towering over the center of Hoyanger that rarely reaches the bottom for any length of time. I’ve dreamt of climbing this magnificent icefall for many years. Growing up in Hoyanger, the waterfall was part of my daily view, as I looked out from the kitchen window.

One day in January I phoned my mother, and she mentioned she could see the entire icefall. Hmmm.… Was this a desperate attempt to get visitors? Or was it really there? Sigurd Felde and I had to find out, so we packed the car and headed from Andalsnes to Hoyanger. When we stood below the climb at 8 a.m., the temperature was -15°C. This would later cause four frozen toes, though the compensation was a fantastic meal on the table provided by my parents, who had followed our progress that day.

We belayed three pitches and then moved together for 150m. Another pitch, followed by ca 100m of moving together, led to the headwall, which gave three sustained ropelengths to the top of the ice. Here, there are plenty of trees for belays. Two descents are possible: rappel the icefall, or follow an indistinct path to the left (red marks on trees). The latter is steep in parts, and it’s probably best to keep roped for some sections. We named the climb Lady Momo (WI5).

Hege Nordeide, provided by Marten Blixt, AlpinKlatring, Norway