22 May 2013
Cadet S/Sgt Stuart Brammer, Lincolnshire ACF, reports on his Cadet Ice expedition
Cadet ice is an expedition that takes part in Norway to climb a number of frozen waterfalls over a week period. The requirements to attend the course are basic rock climbing and winter walking foundation and you have to be at least sixteen years of age. I flew out from Manchester airport on the 9th February and this was the first time I knew anyone else that was going on the course. The instructors handed me all my specialist equipment that I was going to require throughout the week. We landed in Oslo and then we had a five hour car journey to Rjukan where we were stopping for the week. By now I had already put on another two tops, a big coat and a big pair of woollen gloves on as it was -10 deg in the sun!
Once we arrived at the lodge we were paired off and shown to our room. That evening we were given a brief by our Chief Instructor on our activities throughout the week. We were also put into our groups; I was placed in one of the more advanced even though I had no experience of this type of climbing. My instructor for the week was Guy Buckingham, who was absolutely fantastic throughout, showing me all the techniques. We went on numerous climbs, my favourite one being Ossimosis. This was because I got to try the instructor’s equipment, the difference was quite unbelievable as it gave me so much more grip which made the climb so much easier.
The course is not for the faint hearted as you need to have a good head for heights and be extremely fit. All the adults that were on the course were absolutely great with me and treated me really well. The experience I gained was second to none, as the whole time I needed to work as a team player as some body’s life was in my hands the whole time they were on the ice. I had fantastic time, met lots of new people and made lots of new friends, can’t wait for next year so that I can go again.