This is an annual event which is always held during the last weekend in February.
In the year 1978 a climbing benchmark was been achieved by Norwegian climbers Marius Morstad and Bjørn Myrer Lund by climbing “Rjukanfossen”. After this achievement Rjukan was borne as the climbing destination we know of today. Rjukan has today over 190 climbable waterfalls, and during the years, new and more difficult lines are climbed.
Rjukan Ice Festival was first time arranged by the local climbing group, Rjukan Fjellsportgruppe in 1993. It started as a small event for the local climbers, and the Festival`s main goal was to gather local climbers and others who were interested in the ice climbing game. The Festival became also a marketing tool for Rjukan, so after a short period of time, the international, - and national climbing society became aware of the huge potential for high quality ice climbing here in Rjukan. Top athletes from all over the world came to Rjukan to climb on the frozen waterfalls, showing the locals and visiting ice climbers the newest techniques and equipment used in the ice climbing game. The publication of the RockFax Ice Climbing Guide to Rjukan has also heavily contributed to the growth of visiting ice climbers during the last three years.
During the many Ice Festivals held here in Rjukan, well known ice climbers such as Franz Fisher, Carlos Wagner, Tomaz Humar, Will Gadd, Harry Berger, Ines Papert, Kristen Reagan, Robert Caspersen, Trym Sæland, Gøran Kropp, Nick Bullock and many more has inspired both local and visiting climbers. They have also been participating in the Ice Festivals program, teaching new techniques to groups and held lectures from their adventures in the vertical world.
The main reason for this non-profit event has always been to gather, socialize and learn more about safer and harder ice climbing. The demo stands from the world leading companies with the latest technology, the various clinics for all levels, the BBQ at Krokan, climbing competitions, the night climbing at Krokan with flood light and slide shows and lectures in Rjukan in the evening, are all in itself good reasons to come and participate in the annual Rjukan Ice Festival.
As the numbers of climbers are expanding and the way of climbing has changed dramatically, the main ideas of Rjukan Ice Festival is still the same, a festival by climbers for climbers!
Rjukan Fjellsportgruppe who has always arranged the Ice Climbing Festival is dedicated to maintain and secure the climbing areas, cut down trees to maintain the trails, clean trees from belay slings, re bolt if necessary, guide and assist to rescue climbers in rescue operations.