Brokke, centrally located in Setesdal – an Eldorado for ice climbers!

Ice climbing

So far, Setesdal might have been a hidden climbing gem, but the valley’s numerous waterfalls and mountains provide world-class routes throughout the year. When winter in Brokke has well and truly set in, an ice climber’s paradise unfolds.

At Brokke you will find everything from roadside ice crags to more remote and challenging waterfalls. The routes are in the W12-W17 range and there are still discoveries to be made. Are you looking for a reasonably priced climbing adventure, Setesdal is just perfect. The valley is described as a climber’s paradise just like Rjukan, but without the crowds!

“I will never forget my first visit to Setesdal. We were armed with an incomplete, text-only document vaguely describing a hundred or so ice climbs along the length of the valley; we were lured by the promise of world-class ice, short approaches, first ascents and an almost guaranteed lack of other climbers. I didn’t really know what to expect.

Four days later I felt as if I had been let in on a great secret. Geoff’s ‘guidebook’, so primitive in its first impression, seemed to reveal a unique, simple charm that had me curiously hooked. Something about this rural valley, and these routes, enchanted me and cast aside any doubts that I may have had about the place.”

[Quote from the website www.climb-setesdal.no]

“The Three Billy Goats Gruff”

In the Ose area, in the northern part of the municipality Byglandsfjord, are three of the most popular waterfalls for ice climbing: Heisfossen, Heddersvikfossen and Reiårsfossen. In this order, they give a very nice, natural progression. All of them are highly visible landmarks.

Heisfossen:
This waterfall constitutes the starting point of the grading range mentioned above. Between two and four rope lengths, depending on which route you choose.
Description: A nice introduction; offers variation and easy, versatile climbing. The waterfall faces west.

Heddersvikfossen:
This is the big brother of Heisfossen and is located on the eastern side of the lake Åraksfjorden, between Ose and Åraksbø.
Description: Impressive waterfall with a steep middle section. Otherwise gently sloping ice with small clusters and plateaus. Between two and six rope lengths, depending on desired protection. PLEASE NOTE: The waterfall faces southwest.

Reiårsfossen: 
This is “the Boss”. The most famous and impressive waterfall in Setesdal.
Description: The waterfall looks every bit a challenge from a distance, but becomes more approachable at a closer range. Climbing here will nevertheless require skills due to a heavy flow of water and uneven freezing. Please check the ice conditions carefully! Five to six rope lengths, where the first two are the steepest and most exposed ones. This is a magnificent climb. The waterfall faces east.

Setesdal- Norway up close/ photo: Fotografer Anders Martinsen