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Neil Gresham: Norwegian Ice Climbing

#ospreyeurope

Professional climber, and #ospreyathlete, Neil Gresham recently travelled to Norway to put the Mutant 38 through its paces in a challenging ice climb excursion.

The purpose of the trip was to explore the elusive Norwegian ice climbing destination, Eidfjord. There is very little information about this area and the routes are rumoured to be long, steep and very committing.

Gerry Smith and I started off in the popular destination of Rjukan, which provided us with the chance to get in the swing of things. We climbed a handful of great routes including the local testpiece, Juvsoyla WI 6. We also climbed a pleasant easier route at night on the floodlit falls above the town.

On arrival at Eidfjord, we were blown away by the sheer size and scale of the main face. We climbed a fantastic and incredibly sustained icefall in extremely low temperatures and brittle ice conditions. It proved to be a battle all the way but it was a rare treat to climb in this mythical location.

This was my first time testing the new Mutant 38 and I was immediately impressed – the pack provides that perfect balance between lightness and durability. It is clean and minimal, yet it has the key essential features for ice climbing such as an extendable lid, compression straps and a handy helmet stash facility. The Mutant was unrestrictive to climb with and the carrying comfort was impressive when it was fully loaded up with ropes and ice hardware. All told, it proved to be a vital accomplice on the trip by removing the faff-factor and allowing me to climb at my best.

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