After previously climbing a few via ferratas in the US, I was fairly confident & genuinely excited going into today’s Norwegian cliff side obstacle.
The faint hearted or vertically challenged beware…..
The 6km mountain bike trek along the winding, glacier capped ridges definitely got the heart pumping. Then we had to bushwhack vertically up the ravine for another hour using ropes and scaling boulders to reach our launching point.
We snacked while admiring the picture perfect bay below, being intimidated by the looming steps above and strapping on our climbing gear. After the obligatory group starting photo, our 8 brave adventurers clipped in for 3 hours of intense focus.
With our harness securely on, it is mandatory to attach both carabeeners to the cables bolted in adjacent to each step. Then by guiding your safety line up to the next set of bolts, you can safely transfer each clip individually to the next line. Can you imagine repeating this progression for 180 minutes?
The X factor is the weight of the pack we have on our backs, including our overnight clothes, sleeping bag liners, frozen dinner, next day lunch and charging devices. I diligently tried to be a minimalist but every pound weighs a ton when you are dangling hundreds of feet from safety.
It was slow going until everyone’s confidence kicked in, but the experience was equally exhilarating with each rung that was conquered. I inherited the awesome responsibility of bringing up the rear and capturing the team’s memories from this extreme adventure.
And the best gift I never knew I needed was the extra time to sit and reflect hanging off the side of a cliff. How does it get better than this? Truly a magical experience and one of the best afternoons in my lifetime.
After scaling three rock faces and amassing a string of bruises on the shins, we finally peer over the last rung to freedom and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.