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 center of Norway – offers a different kind of experience. Peaks like Romsdalshorn, Vengetind and Kvanndalstind have made the area a favoured destination among 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.
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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