Tyssedal Via Ferrata


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The Tyssedal Via Ferrata course near Odda, Norway follows the path of the century-old penstocks that once supplied water to the Tyssedal power plant, with sweeping views along the way. The top of the penstocks is 1,300ft (400m) above sea level, with industrial buildings dating from the early days of the power plant and more great views. We really enjoyed the climb, both for the scenery and a chance to be up-close to this historic feat of engineering.

Via Ferrata means “iron path” in Italian and is an increasingly popular mix of protected climbing and alpine hiking where participants use climbing gear to safely ascend exposed routes with spectacular views while attached at all times to iron cables, rungs, ladders and bridges. The sport is popular in Norway, where a number have opened up in recent years. We really enjoyed our first Via Ferrata at Loen on our previous trip to Norway and have been looking forward to trying some more on this trip.

Below are highlights from Aug 31st, 2020. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

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Pelton Wheel
Pelton Wheel behind the Tyssedal power plant, a common fixture at historic Norwegian power plants.
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Destination
Looking up the penstocks, completed between 1906 and 1917, that once supplied water to the Tyssedal power plant. The top, known as Lilletop, is 1300ft (400m) up and is the destination of our hike today.
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Tyssedal Via Ferrata
At the trailhead for the Tyssedal Via Ferrata.
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Starting Up
Starting up the Tyssedal Via Ferrata at altitude 434 ft (132 m).
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Clipping On
After doing a couple of Via Ferrata climbs on our last trip to Norway, we learned that our standard climbing equipment we used for safety when clipped onto the stack wasn’t ideal for short-distance falls where the rope is sufficiently short that it doesn’t provide much stretch. This leads to rapid declaration that can exceed the rating of normal climbing gear (in mountaineering terms this is called a high fall factor). So we purchased energy-absorbing lanyards with dual leashes, designed for via ferrata.

Besides being safer in a fall, the dual-lanyards means we never have to unclip entirely to reclip, and the automatic-locking carabiners are quick and easy to snap on and off. We’ve used them a lot working at high places around the boat, but this is the first time on an actual Via Ferrata course and they worked out really well. Here Jennifer is clipping on the top lanyard before releasing the lower one.

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624 ft
Ascending a wall at 624 ft (190 m) with the penstocks and the Tyssedal power plant visible behind.
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Halfway
Taking a break a little over halfway up at 698 ft (212 m).
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Furnicular
Climbing along the old furnicular railway alongside the penstocks.
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Stepping Across
At altitude 909 ft (277 m), the via ferrata course moves away from the pipeline across a sheer face with rungs to step on and grab onto. Here Jennifer is working onto the wall away from the penstocks. And that picture is straight—the penstocks run on a very steep angle.
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Crossing Wall
James crossing the wall ahead of Jennifer.
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TiZir
Looking down to the TiZir Titanium & Iron plant we passed on our way to Odda.
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Nearly Across
James nearly across the wall.
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One Thousand Feet
Jennifer crossing the sheer wall on the Tyssedal Via Ferrata course, a thousand feet up, with the penstocks and Sorjforden visible behind.
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Ladder
James climbing a ladder up a the final section of the wall. At upper right are ruins of an old walkway strung along the cliff.
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Anuten
View across Sorjforden to 4,160ft (1,268m) Anuten.
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Second Wall
James working back towards the penstocks along a wall above the one we just crossed.
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Looking Down
Looking down from 1025 ft (312m). We’re relatively secure in our climbing gear, but it’s easy to forget that when you look down.
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On the Wall
Jennifer crossing back to the penstocks along the second wall with the 1,050 ft (320 m) waterfall Aednafossen visible in the backround across Sorjforden.
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Final Rungs
James climbing the last few rungs at the top of the Tyssedal Via Ferrata course at altitude 1056 ft (322 m).
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Almost There
Jennifer nearly across the final wall section near the end of the via ferrata course.
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At the Top
Taking in the view from a platform at the top of the Tyssedal Via Ferrata course at altitude 1067 ft (325 m).
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View Down Penstocks
Looking down the penstocks from the top of the Tyssedal Via Ferrata course. We really enjoyed the climb, particularly being alongside the penstocks and seeing the industrial history. This also was a good test of James’ injured wrist—wearing a heavy-duty brace he had little pain or difficulty making the climb, giving us more confidence in committing to the longer and more strenuous Trolltunga Via Ferreta course tomorrow.
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Aednafossen
The 1,050 ft (320 m) waterfall Aednafossen viewed from the top of the Tyssedal Via Ferrata course.
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Lilletop
Aerial photograph of Lilletop, showing the various buildings there. Some are open for pre-arranged guided tours.
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Lunch
Lunch with a view on a bluff above Lilletop. Norway is just amazingly beautiful.
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Sorjforden
Looking up Sorjforden towards Odda from our lunch stop. From here, we returned back down to the van along a footpath to Lilletop.
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Buerbreene
We finished our hike early in the afternoon, so decided to make a small road trip to Oddadalen, the Odda Valley, also know as the “Valley of Waterfalls”. This is looking from the road across the lake Sandvinvatnet to the Buerbreene glaciers, an offshot of the Folgefonna Icefield.
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Strandsfossen
1,500ft (455m) Strandsfossen cascading into Sandvinvatnet, the first and northernmost fall in the “Valley of Waterfalls”.
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Vidfoss
The Vidfoss waterfall is nearly as wide as it is tall.
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Latefossen
The 540ft (165m) Latefossen twin waterfall has been a major tourist draw since the 19th century, attracting visitors from all over the world. The graceful stone bridge below was completed in 1859, and widened in the 1940s.
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Espelandsfossen
At 262ft (80m) Espelandsfossen, the southernmost waterfall in the “Valley of Waterfalls”. The fall often is overlooked due to its proximity to famous Latefossen—it’s only a 3-minute walk between them.
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Grey Water Sensor
Back on Dirona, we repaired our grey water tank level sensor. The medium level float sensor has failed, so James is cutting a new one to fit.
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Happy Hour
Spitfire getting a little attention during Happy Hour on the boat deck at Odda after a big and successful day.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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