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Hitting the heights

Nothing beats the utter exhilaration of succeeding a climbing route. However, the dizzying heights of Norwegian mountains and frozen waterfalls are not for the squeamish.

Back in the day, mountaineering was seen as an activity for the wealthy elite in Norway. Today, however, climbing – both indoors and outdoors – is a popular exercise for a broad spectrum of Norwegians.

It’s a way to stay fit, sure, but first and foremost climbing is a fun opportunity to gain unique experiences in nature – and to get the adrenalin surging.

One of the most popular climbing destinations is Lofoten, with its steep mountains literally emerging from the sea. As a bonus, during the summer you have unlimited climbing time thanks to the midnight sun. You might need to check the weather before you go, though, as heavy rainfall is not uncommon in the summer months.

Romsdalen – the alpine heart of Norway – offers a different kind of experience. The area is home to the iconic Trollveggen («The Troll Wall»), Europe’s tallest vertical cliff face, and has been a favored destination for international climbers for centuries.

During winter you can smack an axe into the ice and climb frozen waterfalls in places such as Eidfjord and Rjukan. The latter offers over 150 waterfalls with varying degrees of difficulty, and hosts Rjukan Ice Festival, an annual ice climbing festival in February.

Please be careful, though, and remember that ice climbing without a guide is an activity reserved for the highly experienced climbers.

Tripadvisor's top climbing destinations in Norway

A frozen peak of adrenaline

Climbing a frozen waterfall in Norway is an exceptional and extreme experience, but is more about technique than brute strength. Go ice climbing at destinations recommended by Dag E. Hagen, editor of the climbing magazine Klatring.

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Safety in the mountains

Return to hike another day

Stay safe in the mountains by adhering to these simple rules of thumb:

  1. Do not embark on a trip you're not qualified to complete.
  2. Leave word of your route and planned arrival.
  3. Listen to the forecast and respect the weather.
  4. Equip for bad weather and worsening conditions, even on short trips.
  5. Listen to experienced hikers who know the local conditions.
  6. Bring navigation aids, and know how to use them.
  7. Do not go alone.
  8. Turn around in time - there's no shame in returning to base.
  9. Conserve your strength. Make a snow shelter before you are exhausted.

Emergency telephone numbers

  • 110 - Fire
  • 112 - Police
  • 113 - Ambulance
  • 120 - Emergency at sea
  • 22 59 13 00 - Poisons Information Centre
  • 1412 TDD (textphone for the deaf or hearing impaired)

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