|GPS:||68.184, 14.274 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Todd Miller on Aug 5, 2010|
|Admins:||Phil Lauffen, Michael Sullivan|
Located north of the Arctic Circle, during the height of the summer climbing season you can climb all day without a headlamp, sometimes in the direct rays of the midnight sun. The islands do catch a lot of storms from different directions and some rain should be expected on any extended visit. That said, the weather can also be sunny and warm for extended periods of time, and most of the rock dries very quickly after rain. Still air seems to be rare - there is almost always anything ranging from a slight breeze to fairly solid wind - this also helps to dry the rock after rain.
The rock is granite, but don't expect the sort of granite that you might find in Yosemite. If I had to pick a place in the U.S., I'd say the rock reminded me most of the more solid rock in Rocky Mountain National Park (which I know, is not granite). It is generally very solid, but even though it is at sea level, it is an alpine environment and you will encounter some occasional looseness. However, most of the popular routes are very clean. There are also pretty big alpine climbs which will offer a completely different experience. The climbing in Lofoten ranges from single pitch routes, to short multi pitch climbs (2-4 short pitches - a lot of the climbs fall into this category), long free routes like those on Presten, to moderate alpine ridges, to serious alpine walls.
For such a remote location, the routes can get crowded. Expect lines on popular classics like "Vestpillaren" and "Bare Blabaer". The guidebook uses a quality rating system from no stars to 3 stars, and also uses a "Top 50" category for 50 routes routes that the authors consider the classics. If you get away from the Top 50 routes, it is very easy to avoid queuing up for routes.
The guidebook, "Lofoten Rock" by Chris Craggs and Thorbjorn Enevold, is published by Rockfax (UK) and is very well organized and written entirely in English. It is hard to come by in the U.S. and expensive. It can be purchased in Lofoten from the shop in Henningsvaer.
The truth is, although it takes time and can be expensive, it really isn't that hard to get to Lofoten. The islands are accessible by road, ferry, or plane. The hardest part may be choosing a travel option that suits your budget and plan. The main town that you are trying to reach is Svolvaer. Although not completely necessary, having a car is very helpful in Lofoten. A lot of the climbing is a short walk from the main camping area near Hennigsvaer. But if you want to explore the rest of the islands, get groceries, or climb in some of the areas outside of Henningsvaer, you will want a car.
Everything in Norway is expensive. Fortunately in Lofoten, the camping is the one part of your trip that will not put a strain on your wallet - its free. Most climbers camp in the area off of the road beneath the Gandalf Wall near Henningsvaer. Clean drinking water is available at the site, however toilets and trash cans are not. The camping is beautiful though - roadside camping right along the water, a stones throw from the crags.
Groceries are available in Henningsvaer (which although it appears close, is still about a 40 minute walk from the camping area). The best bet for groceries is to drive into Svolvaer where there are bigger stores. Beer can be purchased in grocery stores during limited hours. Anything else (wine, etc.) needs to be purchased from the state run store in Svolvaer. For camping stoves, you will not find white gas or the little green Coleman propane canisters. Bring a stove that uses butane/propane canisters.
Classic Climbing Routes at Lofoten
Days w Precip