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Climbing in Setesdal, Norway

setesdal image1Overview

An awesome climbing area in the heart of a deep valley system in central southern Norway, centered around the small town of Valle. There is a variety of long slab and wall routes and shorter lines at the cliff bases. The climbing is mostly on slabs and steep thin faces on a very high quality granite.

Best Time to Go & Conditions

Spring to autumn with probably means late May to late September. Snow and melt water could be an issue in the early spring. The best months are probably July and August. Rainfall: It can definitely rain for days on end but the up side is that Setesdal is in the rain shadow of the west coast so if a high pressure system establishes itself over southern Norway, as it often does, the weather can be more reminiscent of California than Scandinavia.

Getting There

Ryanair flights to Torp have made a big difference to accessing the excellent climbing in southern Norway. You can also fly from Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and London Stansted. Alternatively, taking the ferry from Newcastle to Stavanger makes for a relaxing holiday.


Valle is about a 4 hour drive from either Torp or Stavanger. There is lots of climbing within walking distance of the camping and the town with loads more crags just a few kilometers either up of down the valley.

Accommodation & Provisions

There is a reasonable campsite next to the main road right opposite one of the main crags (Nomelandsveggan). You can easily walk from here into the village to by groceries and most other provisions. If you are unlucky enough to be there during a bad period of weather you might want to consider renting a Hytte (Hut). Most of the campsite offer Hyttes for rent as well as normal camping. You don’t need to book a campsite in advance. Wild camping is also possible anywhere in Norway as long as you are not visible from any permanent residence. setesdal image2

Guide Book/s

Setesdal Rock Climbing, published 2013. A Panico Alpinverlag guide by Hans Weninger & Peter Brunner, featuring over 500 routes covered across 352 pages.

setesdal image3Grade Spread and Recommended Routes

There is a wide spread of grades but given the size of the crags this is probably not a great area for beginners. Lots of routes from VS to E2/3 with some much harder lines available. The classics of the valley is Pa Sparket on Nomeslandveggan and East of Easy on Lofjell. The shorter routes on Silberwand are mostly excellent.

General Tip/s

There is another excellent and beautiful granite climbing area to the east called Nissedal, which is well worth a visit. To the west there are numerous crags on the roads leading to Stavanger including the huge walls of Kejerag at Lysbotten.

Useful Links

Ryan Air: http://www.ryanair.com Setesdal tourist information site: http://setesdal.com/

Purchase the Setesdal guidebook