Summertime in Scandinavia….
…afternoons lost in berry patches
…basking in the midnight sun…
…and the feel of crisp granite edges under toes and tips.
Carrie and I spent five weeks in June and July traveling and climbing in Norway and Sweden. The scenery was beautiful, the people unbelievably helpful and friendly, and the climbing unique and excellent. We traveled to Flatanger exclusively by public transport, taking planes, trains, and buses.
Our first destination was Flatanger, home of Hanshallaran Cave, the enormous cavern home to the world’s hardest climbs, many established and climbed by Adam Ondra.
Climbers less adapted to spider life than Ondra can also have fun at Flatanger, as there are dozens, even hundreds of routes at more moderate grades.
Strom Gard, home of Olav, is a historic farm and the center of Flatanger Climbing. Olav runs a campground for climbers and provides bathrooms, showers, a kitchen, and occasional entertainment when he decides to mow the lawn!
Apart from the world-class climbing, Flatanger is an incredible and beautiful place. Routes in the 5.12-5.13 grade are steep, wildly featured, granite enduro-fests. Metamorphic heat and pressure has granted the rock here wild sweeps and features, and preserved incredible friction. I have yet to sport climb somewhere with better rock, more interesting movement, and longer routes than Flatanger.
The best sport climbing in the world in one of the most beautiful places in the world? Yes indeed.
Despite the premier quality and difficulty of the routes at Flatanger, the area was remarkably empty of climbers. We met a few other groups, including some very friendly Swedish couples! Eric and Sophia and Erik and Malin (sp on all) introduced us to Flatanger climbing and were great company during our time there!
We had an incredible time here, stalking the elusive cloudberries, swimming in the ocean, drinking prodigious amounts of coffee, and even rock climbing! 🙂
When the time came to move on, we hopped on the bus back to Trondheim, played tourists for a day, and began the journey to the crack climbing mecca of Bohuslan, Sweden…