Monday, June 16, 2014

Rogaland: A Bouldering Mecca

I realize when using the superlative to describe a climbing area it is going to elicit some opinions to the contrary.  That said, Rogaland might be a candidate for the best bouldering area in the world.  I've been to many of the world's most renowned bouldering locations (Rocklands being the most glaring exception) and Rogaland holds it's own or surpasses the other heavy hitters.  Yes, it is just my opinion and I tend to prefer granite over other rock types but I consider myself to be discerning and well informed.  It is indeed subjective but even if Rogaland isn't number 1 on your list there is no denying it as a world-class destination.

Here's a couple things to consider regarding Rogaland......

Quantity:  Having an endless supply of rock is perhaps the easiest of Rogaland's qualities to point out.  There is so much rock that it is almost a bad thing (if that is possible) as you become desensitized to house-sized blocks as you drive past hundreds if not thousands of them.  Needless to say the potential is staggering.

Quality:  Fortunately all that rock is not wasted as the choss factor is low and the vast majority of rock is high quality granite.  As tends to be the case with granite some areas can be "sharp" but others have the feel of sandstone.  The rock is extremely climbable and makes for amazing lines (why I love granite) and steep climbing without being overly featured.

Setting:  Rogaland's breathtakingly beauty is the reason tourists flock from around the world and since the entire region is chalk full of boulders you can look forward to climbing in some of the most amazing settings ever.

Access:  Many areas are roadside or with short approaches and Norway has a solid infrastructure of roads spider-webbing through the rugged landscape.  Finding and developing new areas is pretty much effortless.  There are currently few access problems but some areas are more sensitive than others.  While Norway's "every man's right" guarantees a degree of access to all land users it is important to remember that many boulders are on private property and climbers should be respectful.  It only takes a couple douchebags to ruin it for everyone.

And now for the bad news.....

Expensive:  Norway is not cheap.  In fact, it is the most expensive country in the world.  A dirtbag can still get by with selective grocery shopping and camping (there is no shortage of beautiful places to camp) but if you are looking to eat out or have a roof over your head you best bring a fat wallet.

Weather:  Rogaland is not known for it's dry climate.  If you want the "sick temps bro" that come in the spring and fall it will be a gamble to book a trip as it could get rained out. The summers are drier and the long days provide more than enough time to climb but certain areas can be a bit buggy.

More specific info on Rogaland coming in the near future.  In the meantime here are a couple pictures

Kalle on the amazing Little Joy.  A roadside boulder with a 3-star problem

Another roadside gem, Sorgfri.

Kalle sampling the perfect stone of Tirpitz.

A random photo taken from the car.  It pretty much looks like this everywhere, except there are often more boulders.

It takes less than 10 minutes to hike to those boulders but in Rogaland that is considered a small boulder field and a long approach. 


Robert said...


walkerkearney said...

no guidebook and it's by choice. i'm with the locals on this too as i've seen what guides can do to places. keeps it a little adventurous

Robert said...

And local unfortunately two sides of the coin. Looks amazing and i would love to go there but if you dont now anything about the area its difficult to motivate the trip.

Anonymous said...

Topos on