Our Friday Night Video this week gives us an overview of Uskedalen in Western Norway. The area has a guidebook although sees very little traffic, despite the abundance of sunning 800m routes on moderate terrain and superb gear. Uskedalen is often referred to as 'Norway's Yosemite.'
I've been there and it's brilliant. Huge amounts of pristine granite and almost nobody there, even on a summer weekend. There are massive gaps between the routes, if you can climb solid E2-E3* ish then you can do new routes there.
* This is very approximate as I only climb VS but there are big gaps in the guide book which aren't featureless slabs etc.
I have watched this at least five times and keep coming back to it. What a beautiful place to climb! Brilliant video choice UKC, love it! Uskedalen is going to the top of the list for next summer’s big trip.
> I've been there and it's brilliant. Huge amounts of pristine granite and almost nobody there, even on a summer weekend. There are massive gaps between the routes, if you can climb solid E2-E3* ish then you can do new routes there.
> * This is very approximate as I only climb VS but there are big gaps in the guide book which aren't featureless slabs etc.
Is it super slabby or are there some steeper bits?
It rains a lot, but there is usually somewhere in Norway that is dry so if you have a car and some flexibility you should be OK. The whole area around Uskedalen is absolutely beautiful so walking and relaxing are good options as well. And the sea fishing is first rate, you can catch some nice fish without any experience at all, and its a good thing to do on rainy or rest days to supplement the diet over there, which for me is usually pretty rubbish as I cant afford to buy proper food over there.
Thanks for the advice - I’ve heard Nissedal is a great spot but didn’t realise it was in the locale. Do you think a week would be enough time to play roulette with the weather, or is it a longer term proposition?
> Thanks for the advice - I’ve heard Nissedal is a great spot but didn’t realise it was in the locale.
It's not. Uskedalen to Hægefjell in Nissedal is going to take around 5 hours. It's quicker to get to Nissedal from Oslo than it is from Uskedalen. Driving times along the west coast can be surprisingly long compared to distance once you start crossing fjords or taking less travelled roads between valleys.
> Do you think a week would be enough time to play roulette with the weather, or is it a longer term proposition?
Best option is probably to book a hire and go where the weather's best. I still haven't made it to Uskedalen, partly because it's further than other places from Oslo, plus also because of rain. Plus snow can linger during spring.
I think most of the good routes are VS to E5, with a lot around HVS to E2 but this is from memory. I think the grades are a bit tough if you aren't used to the place. There is also a very long alpine-style ridge at a lower grade which I would love to go back and do, this is a photo of it
I'm not sure it's that far from Uskedal to Nissedal via Odda, but it would be an ok drive. For information the closest airport is Bergen, only an hour or so's drive away, and I like the camping Dimmelsvik.
the weather has been astonishing the last 5 weeks, but I was there 2 weeks ago and there was still a lot of high snow seeping into routes. Very good hiking locally too
If you're thinking of going but you're wanting to keep costs low (cos Norway's expensive, and as the value of GBP plummets going forward it's going to get more and more expensive for UK people), here's a plan to consider:
1) cheap regular flights London>Bergen, or Manchester>Bergen, or Aberdeen>Bergen.
2) there's a passenger ferry (operated by Skyss, the national bus/ferry service) from Bergen to Rosendal – the ferry calls at Flesland (where Bergen airport is) on the way from Bergen city centre, and there's a bus from the airport to the nearby quay. The ferry takes 1.5 hours from Flesland quay to Rosendal, or just under 2 hours from bergen to Rosendal. It goes twice a day Mon-Fri, morning and evening. You can take bikes on the ferry.
3) there are regular buses from Rosendal to Uskedalen where the campsite sits next to the fjord at the mouth of the valley – it's just 13km on a flat fjordside road, easily cyclable or walkable.
4) the main climbing areas is about 6km up the gently rising valley road SW from the campsite.
So there's no strong need to hire a car. Even if you don't take that Bergen-Rosendal ferry, perhaps because the times don't fit with your flights, it's easy to buy combined bus-and-ferry tickets (it's a single network), and get from Bergen to Uskedalen in about 3.5 hours on public transport, using the Skyss travel planner:
Uskedalen and Nisserdal are both incredible places. I would highly recommend both, though the weather can be problematic.
Me and a friend headed out there last year and had a great time. I wrote an article for Alpkit about the trip if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about both Uskedalen and Nisserdal. We were dirtbagging it and trying to do it as cheap as possible so I think there are some tips in there for keeping costs down - main one is to book an extra hold bag and fill it with food. We stopped one day for a hot dog and an ice cream and it cost £20!
We climbed up to about E3 on certain bolted pitches but were pretty outfaced by the size of the walls in Uskedalen. Expect to drop some grades and take your time!
> We stopped one day for a hot dog and an ice cream and it cost £20!
Your Alpkit pist states £15. Maybe the price goes up each time you tell the story? Seriously though, how much does two coffees and two sandwiches cost in the UK if you stop at a garage / services? Probably not much difference. Food isn't that much more expensive if you look at the prices.
UK service station food is a ripoff but all norwegian food is similar. I go a job offer while out in norway and I celebrated with a packet of bacon and 4 beers which I think was between £50 and £60 (can't really remember)
It was in Lofoton in an island so maybe that made it more expensive and it was a packet of that thick kind of bacon that you don't get in the UK. After a googe it seems youre right about the beer prices although I remember it being a lot more than 32. Unless its been inflated in my memory as it was a few yers ago.
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