/ DESTINATION GUIDE: Bohuslän, Sweden
A good description. The area is also a large archipelago, hundreds of islands with fantastic opportunities to explore with a kayak(available for hire in a few places) and climb or boulder on little mini crags where you might be the only person to visit that year.
Just a fantastic place. Crack climbing, but with good friction, little features and flakes for feet and so much gear that it often feels like sport cragging. Second only to Range East for trad climbing in my view. I keep arranging trips back only for them to fall through!
I think the picture title "Gamzetti" is actually Hassan Chop at the same crag.
Bohuslän is very close to Norway and has been frequented by Norwegian climbers for a long time. Many hard routes like Slimline ('81, Doseth, Kolsrud) were established by strong Norwegian climbers. It was sure was known internationally as a climbing destination in '96 when I first went to Norway but bypassed Bohuslan in favor for better weather in Southern Norway.
[He's one of the locals and invited a young Neil Gresham and Leo Houlding out to the area back in 1999, and I'd say they were probably some first visitors to the area from another country. It still is a very esoteric and under the radar area.]
It is also possible to stay in rooms in the new house at Bengt's farm (build in 2017).
Great article,more like this please. Whats the insect situation like round here?
In my limited experience there were no insect issues. My Swedish friends said it's generally ok too.
There's a hose behind the toilet block to keep the insect in check (there's public bath nearby but we didn't bother)
this may have reignited my desire to go there, been looking for somewhere to go in may, this sounds perfect. thanks!
> In my limited experience there were no insect issues.
Ticks. We picked some up while there. Not insects but... some of the mini fjords were crammed full of jelly fish. With my experience from the Baltic I figured there were any stingee ones so went for an oddly slimey swim. I was wrong about there being no stinging ones! No worse than nettle rash, but not super pleasant.
Also not insects but we climbed at one crag that had snakes in the cracks. No idea what species they were and I suspect they were harmless but it was a bit disconcerting at the time. There were loads of them on top of the crag too.
The jellyfish in the fjord at fiskebakskil definitely sting!
Good article. In terms of getting there, I would add that you can fly to Copenhagen and drive across "The Bridge" into Sweden and drive north for about 4 hours. It was cheaper to do that than use either of the other options mentioned. We went in September and the weather was either perfect, or a bit on the hot side.
We stayed at the BKK hut and I would highly recommend that, although I would take a tent so you don't have to put up with all the scratching and snoring in the dorm room.
"If you do this, you'll come across some pleasant small beaches and swimming spots. Beware, when you find water it will be absolutely Baltic!"
Wrong side of the country Pete! You will find the water is absolutely North Atlantic. By summer the Baltic warms up more, at least in the sheltered bits. ;)
Actually, it's interesting how Bohuslän has a distinctly maritime feel to it. Lysekil has a real edge of the continent, port city feel to it. I think it was in Bohusläns Museum in Uddevalla, the regional city IIRC, where there is lots on the maritime history. You don't really think of Sweden as an Atlantic country but that bit really is. There is also lots neolithic stuff in the region, including some cool rock carvings that you can just go and visit. And any Nordic Noir fans can go to the cute (overly so?) seaside town of Fjallbacka where Camilla Läckberg set her series of perfectly readable if a bit popcorn detective novels.
Pete says the area is probably best at HVS and above. I see his point but actually if you aren't so hard, it seems there is loads to do at HVS and below from my couple of visits there. Anyone climbing ok on grit cracks at VS, should have Bergkirstis polska (n6-) as their target.
I wrote a little blog post after I went the first time http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/bohuslan-climbing-trip-report.html
How much is the bridge? Isn't something like €50 each way? I'm really surprised that car hire in Göteborg is that much more that it makes going to CPH worth it! Or were the flights much cheaper? I remember maybe a decade ago when you could get to Gothenburg for next to nothing with Ryan. It always annoyed me how cheap Sweden was to get to from the UK compared to Finland which was always much pricier despite not really being that much further than Stockholm.
I forgot about the ticks! They weren't an issue when I was there, it would have been early tick season.
> Wrong side of the country Pete! You will find the water is absolutely North Atlantic. By summer the Baltic warms up more, at least in the sheltered bits. ;)
Depends how deep you dive. Water in the gullmar fjord is Baltic at the surface and North sea at the bottom: https://loven.gu.se/english/about_the_loven_centre/kristineberg
I certainly had a great few days climbing in bohuslan at VS/HVS but there didn't seem to be very much below that.
Comments to above. Yeah opposite species of jelly fish to east coast, they sting!!
Snakes, plenty adders about, so not entirely harmless.
'The Bridge'. When folk visit us they hire cars from Malmö, it usually cheaper and depending on flight time etc.. hotels are cheaper there too. Trains run every 30mins or more often at peak and the airport is on top of the station. There is a level of efficiency though depending on how many you squeeze into the car to cross.
If touristing etc I'd recommend a trip out to kosterhavet islands, no cars allowed. And you can visit this bronze age stuff whilst up there. http://www.vitlyckemuseum.se at tanum.
Lots of ticks when I went there. I got a few and one that gave me a rash. Wasn't the classic bullseye but I tested positive for Lyme's a few months later so likely to have picked it up from there. Definitely worth checking for them at the end of each day.
Cheers. Good to know. Might be using it again this summer, although not to get to Bohuslän. Need to be factoring it into how much its going to cost us! Anyone know how much the ferry is from Germany over to Denmark south of CPH?
Scandlines runs the ferry from Puttgarden to Rodby and there's a complicated pricing structure. Cost depends on type and size of vehicle, and whether you’re going on to cross from Helsingor to Helsingborg. Good luck with their website.
There's a ferry that runs from GER to SWE and it's a lot less hassle than going partly through DK.
Any idea on price though? Flying and hiring a car is obviously the least hassle, but maybe not the cheapest option! (Planning on coming to Suomi for 3 or 4 weeks in the summer.)
Was in Bohuslan November just gone. Been studying in Telemark - Norway and around 6- 10 of us made a trip there using the climbing hut. Best climbing week of my life! Great rock, crags, views, people and the price compared to in Norway was even more appealing. Stayed in the climbing hut and made great use of that, even got invited to a guy's hut in Nepal when he came to check on the hut as he saw the lights on.
Look forward to making a return sometime soon. Great article.
Great place to visit, but you really have to be into crack climbing to make the best of it. Stopped off on the way back from Lofoten and Stetind in '16. If you're going from the UK, Calais to Bohuslan can be managed in a day, sharing driving.
Not much difference to GER-DK ferries. Or that's what I've been told, as haven't used 'em yet...
This looks well good. Shame the aren't more enlargeable climbing pictures in the article
Hi. Yes, it's about that, but we had a car of 4 and all told it was about £95 cheaper per person to do it via Copenhagen.
The best thing about Bohuslän for me is the consistency of climbing quality. The guidebook doesn't have a starring system, yet I inevitably manage to climb great routes with every visit.
Me and a friend flew Heathrow to Gothenburg with BA, hired a volvo v40 and spent two days in Bohuslän and two in Gothenburg itself. Flights, car hire and 40L diesel cost us about £200 each in 2015. Not super cheap but certainly not unreasonable.
The article misses a couple of things I think. Camping is probably best done at a campsite called Trellebystrand http://www.trellebystrand.se which has 20-30 bolted climbs on the campsite. You can rent spaces with electricity if you bring a van.
Gothenburg itself is worth taking a day or two to explore as there is some stunning climbing to be had in a wooded area in the city itself. Utby is one of those crags but the guide is only in Swedish as far as I know.
If not flying to Gothenburg I wouldn't fly to Oslo but like others have said to Copenhagen and drive from malmö.
Here's an album I have of a few trips there:
Probably quite a few repeat photos and definitely lots of "family" stuff, but you should find a few climbing ones in here too...
Some notes from a local:
- Flight: BMI just opened up flights to Gothenburg from Bristol and Birmingham to Gothenburg - variable prices but they for now fly twice a week.
- Renting a car - recommended indeed - you can take public transport up to many areas in Bohuslän if you want to arrange with locals lifts and so on when you get there, but your own wheels is definitely the best solution. All the usual rental firms are here, but also check out Rent-A-Wreck.
- Food - I recommend stocking up in one of the Lidls in Gothenburg to save cash. Also, there is a wonderful cafe just down the road from Svaneberget called Lyckans Stenugnsbågeri - they even sell the climbing book there and you can have a look through while trying the coffee and cinnamon buns.
- Gear - if you need to update the rack or replace anything, there are two places recommended. First would be the extremely helpful staff at Fjällsport - Padde and the gang are an absolute pillar of the community there and more than happy to help out with any questions and they make a great coffee. Hit them up on facebook (just search Fjällsport Gothenburg - hard to miss). The Tempo (kind of like Spar) in Brastad, just before the turn off to Galgeberget and Häller, also have a fine selection of gear from friends, nuts and ropes, as well as the guide book.
- Gothenburg - though Bohuslän offers the larger amount of climbing and outdoors access, there is an abundance of great crags within easy cycling or bus ride from Gothenburg (check out Utby and Fjällbo on this site). From the town centre you can be on a selection of amazing granite cracks within 30 minutes. Get in touch with the Gothenburg Climbing Club (gbgkk.nu) for more details. They arrange a climbing festival called Climb-In in April - during which you will be allowed to camp in the local park. A good place to start off a trip to Bohuslän where you can find other local climbers and head out to the granite coast.
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