Scandinavian Rock
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Finally on the rock climbing front, here are a couple of pictures from my early climbing years. Below left, my friend Steve Golley who got me started climbing, here
climbing Phantom Zone E6 6b (F7c) at Chapel Head in the Lake District. Below, with Salford University Mountaineering Club (SUMC) back in 1995 at
Ravenstones Edge in the Chew Valley. If I remember rightly there is Sam Bixby bottom centre smiling as he always did, Kane Martin with the yellow pants, Matt
Smollet centre, Rich Rayner in the black top behind and Dave Parkin reading the guidebook. Thankfully people have better taste in clothing now.
Rock climbing has been part of my life for 20 years. During my early climbing years, I climbed extensively in England and Wales. Since living in Denmark, I have
climbed mostly in Norway and Sweden and with almost unlimited rock, there is plenty to go at. This page offers a brief glimpse of climbing at crags in southern
Norway and along the west coast of Sweden. Rock climbing, especially on easily accessible single pitch crags and often on bolted routes, is the natural
progression from indoor climbing and I am regularly out with groups for introductory climbing weekends. I also run courses for beginners and aspirant instructors.
Above and below left, climbing on beautiful rock in perfect weather here at Kløfta in the Grimstad area 50km east of Kristiansand on the south coast of Norway.
The routes are clean and well bolted. There is also an idyllic campsite nearby called Morvigsanden Camping by the fjord. Norway's southern crags around
Kristiansand are covered in the guidebook Sørlandsfører. The book covers crags from Mandal to Arendal. Below right, at Storheia in Kristiansand.
Below, climbing at Kleven on the island of Smögen in Bohuslän which is a
large area stretching for 140 km along the Swedish coastline from north of
Gothenburg to the Norwegian border south of Oslo. Bohuslän is one of
Sweden's best climbing areas with its solid granite, clear fjords and beautiful
countryside. The guidebook to the area describes over 1200 routes on 100
crags. The climbing season is long - from May to September if you like warmer
weather, and beyond these months if you don't mind the cold. The best time to
visit is at the end of August or beginning of September as the water is warm.
Further south, in and around the town of Gothenburg, are more crags. Many are easily accessible via public transport from the town centre and the ferry terminal.
The most popular crags with local climbers are Utby and Fjällbo, both of which are within the city limits and part of a nature reserve. The two pictures below are
from a trip to the area back in 1999 - the crag Övre väggen at Fjälbo with routes such as Spagaten. The majority of routes here are trad though there is a good
sports climbing crag at Seglora. The local guidebook is called Klätring i Göteborg med Omnejd (Climbing in Gothenburg and surrounding areas).
About 140km south of Gothenburg is the area around the town of Halmstad. The Halmstad area is very beautiful and is typical of Sweden with rolling hills,
extensive forests and rivers. There are many crags in the Halmstad area but climbing here is relatively undeveloped and the development there has been, has
occurred since 1988. The Halmstad Climbing Club is responsible for most of the development of the crags, however there are many possibilities remaining
and it is not unlikely that you will climb new lines during a trip. The pictures right and below are from the crags at Kajehallar near the town of Kvibille. The crag is
approximately 400 m long and between 15m high with routes either top-roped or led using natural protection. Below, climbing the arete of Arresterad (5+). My
good freind and fellow countryman Steve Bone (pictured below right) has opened up many crags in the area and made many first ascents of lots of trad lines.
Steve has also written a 14 page
rock climbing guide to Kajehallar which we have made available here as a pdf - enjoy!
Below, climbing in March at Husvik south east of Tønsberg on Norway's south coast - east of Larvik. A good little crag with a range of grades.
Below, two pictures from the rocky Swedish peninsula of Kullaberg. This is the most visited rock climbing area by Danes due to its proximity to Copenhagen.
Above, wires. Below, evening light over the campsite at Langeby not far from Ormestrandvika on the peninsula of Vesterøya south of Sandefjord near Larvik.
Above and below, climbing on Carstens Rende on Kullaberg's (Kullen's) south coast in wonderful March spring weather. The picture below was taken on a
rescue skills training course. The next picture below shows the Dansk Mountaineering Club hut near Kullen on a damp Spring evening.
The four pictures here show a glimpse of the fantastic "Bornholm Rock" climbing event in July 2011 (now an annual event). Over a hundred climbers gathered for
four days of events, competitions and workshops at the newly opened quarry with over 40 bolted routes.
Above and below, idyllic climbing in May at the head of the Vesterøya peninsula south of Sandefjord - the area offers both bouldering and fine crack lines.
Below, the crag at Signalen in the centre of Stavern, just 10 minutes drive south of Larvik. The crag offers short powerful routes and has a fantastic view.
Above and right, climbing at Ormestrandvika - a superb slab with many
natural lines - top anchors and a single bolted route.
Above, a couple of pictures from the Skarvann climbing area developed by Børre Bergshaven. Skarvann lies halfway between Kristiansand and Larvik on
Norway's south coast. Below, camp by the waters of Lake Skarvann.
Download a climbing guide to Skarvann here.