Rjukan – a small village in Norway

Rjukan is a small town in Norway around 180 km west of Oslo. The village was founded in the beginning of XX century as an industrial town to support innovative for that time hydroelectric power plant harnessing over 100 m waterfall and fertilizer factory. A side effect of power plant operation was creation of heavy water. During the WWII and Nazi occupation this precious material was used in the atomic program. For this reason Vemork power plant was a target of multiple allied attacks in 1943 and 1944.

Currently Rjukan has around 3300 citizens and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Apart from its war history the town has a dark site – literally laugh Due to its location in a deep valley, from September to March it gets next to no sunlight. In 2013, 100 years after the idea of town’s founder Sam Eyde, a computer-guided mirror system was installed to direct sun to the central square.

Rjukan is a good place for variety of winter sports. There is a big skiing resort nearby – Gaustablikk Skisenter on the slopes of 1883 m Gaustatoppen Mountain.

Steep slopes, little sun and many water sources is a perfect condition for forming icefalls. Easy access, variety of difficulty grade and length makes Rjukan one of the best and well-known ice climbing regions in Europe.


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