Lofoten is a long chain of rocky islands in northern Norway, known as one of the most spectacular and beautiful destinations in Europe. Among climbers it is famous for having great trad climbing.
In early summer the sun never disappears behind the horizon, so there is no need to bring your head torch when going for the big walls. Bring your rain pants though!
On Lofoten the nature is wild with granite walls and green hills surrounded by the cool, Atlantic sea. The climbing is all naturally protected, even belays, which gives you a feeling of adventure and complete liberty – just you and the rock. People have been climbing peaks and faces on Lofoten since the 1880th.
The climbing is spread out over the islands, but the village of Henningvaer is located close to many of the best crags, including the famous 500m wall Prästen. Here you also find the hang-out place for climbers, The Climbing Cafe. They serve the traditional dishes like Bacalao and good beer.
“Sport climbing is like eating at MacDonalds, you know what you get” is cited on the bar disk.
All over Lofoten you have ofcourse Allemansrätt (freedom to camp wherever you want), but there are also camping areas with showers and apartments to rent.
You find good supermarkets and restaurants. However, with a fishing rod you have good chances of catching enough cod for dinner every day, which is good since everything is expensive in Norway.
Lofoten offers climbing of all grades, on excellent quality granite with steep cracks and slabs. Gear is easy to place and the rock is solid. There are one-pitch routes as well as multi-pitch routes up to 500m and everything in-between.
Some walls are equipped with an abseil piste from the top, but other areas are by tradition kept completely free from bolts. This makes single pitch climbing time consuming, but still it gives these places a certain aesthetic charm.
Lofotens unstable weather makes it a bit of a hit or miss destination for short rock climbing holidays. It can easily rain several times a day for a whole month, or the sun can shine uninterruptedly for weeks. Luckily the rock is dried by the wind almost instantly after rainfall and you can start climbing at any time – the days here have 24 hours!
The newest guidebook for Lofoten is Lofoten Rock by Chris Craggs and Thorbjorn Enevold. It includes all climbing on Lofoten and also all necessary travel information.
Best way to get there is to fly to Narvik/Harstad or Svolvaer with Nowegian. A car is nice, especially if you want to explore a bigger area. However it is possible to take the buss from the airport to Henningsvaer and access the closest crags on foot from there.
Lofoten Rock Climbing Trip May 2009
We discovered Lofoten rock climbing for the first time in May 2009. The wedding of our dear friends Jimmy and Petra brought us here in the early summer season. A great 2-day party was followed by 2 weeks of unstable weather. We took the opportunities to climb at any time of the day or night, once the rain stopped.