“Friends of Bohuslän”

The night I arrived I watched the movie “Crackoholic” (2005). This is the movie everyone watches before making a trip to Bohuslän, a granite tradclimbing area on the Westcoast of Sweden. Despite the high quality granite, Bohuslän isn’t very well known in central Europe. Only 1h from Göteburg and 2h from Oslo, the coastline is covered in small hills covered with granite walls with a height up to maximum 60m. Bohuslän has a strong “clean climbing” ethic comparable with UK’s historical Gritstone ethics. No bolts and no anchors is what it takes to keep the walls clean and offer everyone the same climbing adventure the rock has to offer since the first ascensionist. While watching Crackoholic, I tried to take in the local climbing vibes. I also made a list of iconic routes of the area shown in the movie. Every one of these routes stands for an era and milestone in Bohuslän’s climbing history. To understand the local climbing culture, I had to climb them.  


On the first morning I took out my list of routes and started off at the main sector, Häller. Overwhelmed by the rock quality and all the classic lines in this sector, I made the choice to go for the one that caught my eye the most, Savage Horse 9 R/X (8a). A piece of history, given that Leo Holding and Neil Gresham came to Bohuslän in 1999 and brought their British ethics with them. Leo climbed this line in style, placing a skyhook for protecting the crux high above the ground. Unlike his proud ascent, my ascent was a lot less scary. This is what you get when you climb 24 years later with improved gear to protect sketchy climbs. Instead of using a skyhook, which increases the danger of the route, I used a few RP’s for protection that were high enough to make sure you won’t hit the ground if you fell from the top. This gear beta came from Kristoffer Klevern, Oslo based tradclimbing maniac, who I was lucky to bump into. The route was brushed, a toprope installed and I had just to try! This is what I love about the single pitch trad climbs; it easily brings climbers together, sharing beta, gear and belays. After sending the route onsight on toprope, I checked the gear and went straight for the headpoint managing to send. It was only afterwards I heard this probably was the 4th ascent. I was excited, but I felt I didn’t give the route enough chance to kick my ass and learn from it, because a fall would be perfectly fine if the gear was placed well.  


My first day was a success! I knew that from then on I would like to try the fairly safe routes ground-up without rehearsing the moves on toprope, because if I’m honest, the technical grade is below my limit and it feels far more rewarding to just try onsight or flash. There can be so much adventure in one single climb of 20 meters as long as you adapt it to your level. In the following days I tried “Rätt Lätt” 8+ R (7c+), “Sista Bossen” 9- (8a) and “Electric Avenue” 9- (8a) ground up. Like expected, the challenge was a lot more intense! “Rätt Lätt” is the only one I managed to flash, whilst the other two provided a great fight and some good falls. Especially “Electric Avenue”, the perfect crack that originally was protected with bolts up to the point that Erik Heyman climbed the line fully clean on trad gear. The rule of Bohuslän tradclimbing says that when a bolted line is climbed clean, it is accepted that the bolts will be removed. An ethical rule I support if the sector is generally a tradclimbing area.


Going ground up, onsight, and placing all my own gear on “Electric Avenue” was exciting! It’s not easy gear to place, and above all, the gear is very marginal at some points. I for sure could feel that extra ‘ground-up’ power when fighting above my gear. Oh yes, unlike people think I don’t experience fear of falling, I still do! I think I always will. It’s just key to use that fear in a positive way when sending by focusing on the move in front of you.


It can be hard to choose the perfect line for a ground up ascent at your level. I often arrive at the crag and scout out the lines, walking below them and trying to observe and feel. At first when I see a climb, I feel very intimidated. Even more when trying to imagine myself climbing it ground up - I get all these butterflies in my stomach and I better have a toilet nearby. Choosing the right route is not only about the moves, you will also have to assess the risks you might take or not. Once on the route, you’ll have to assess your current strength, the protection, the rock quality and your ability to do the move in the most efficient way. Will you commit to make the move, up to the next possible gear placement? Do you back up your previous placement? Does the fall look good? Is this a rational or irrational fear I’m feeling? If climbing onsight sport routes is one of the purest forms of climbing, then climbing trad routes onsight is even more pure! To me, this style is the most rewarding, success or not. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean I’m shy of trying a project, a whole different game that has a lot to offer as well. This brings me to “Swedenborgska Rummet”.


“Swedenborgska Rummet” 9 R/X (8b) is a vertical and technical, short endurance route. I chose this line because of the technical nature and the big runout. Climbs with little protection attract me. Not because I’m an adrenaline junky, but mostly because climbing single pitch trad gets me in the ‘flow’ easier. The physical danger obliges me to be focused and concentrate in the moment. Getting into a state of flow is optimal to leverage your performance, which in climbing means to not fall! Hard onsights in sport climbing or a hard redpoint also brings me in a state of flow, but it’s more difficult.


I checked out “Swedenborgska Rummet” on toprope and I managed to send it quite quick in this style. But unlike on “Savage Horse”, the moves didn’t feel as solid. Body positions are subtle and delicate, sometimes I would fall not knowing what I did different? On a good day with only two taped fingertips because of splits, I decided I should give it a ground up go. I often make this choice quite rapidly. I don’t like postponing a ground up try for too long, otherwise it gets into your head too much. I climbed the route once more on toprope and didn’t waste any more precious skin. I felt positive about this try as the gear was good after the crux move, which makes the route a lot less run out than when the first ascensionist, Erik Grandelius, climbed it. I climbed solidly and moved my way up on the sharp razorblades, splitting two more fingertips. At that moment I knew I had to send, I wouldn’t have a second chance. I stayed calm and climbed secure - it wasn’t as runout as I thought but still, I wasn’t keen to test the gear with a fall!


Every once in a while I need my dose of single pitch tradclimbing; the exciting ground up onsight attempts, the challenge of placing gear, the harder headpoints after having worked the moves on toprope, the support of the community you get when attempting a scary climb… These are all beautiful challenges and experiences you can only find in a single pitch trad area. Bohuslan is one more special place I added to the list of; ‘I have to return’.


If you want to go Bohuslän here are some tips:


Vibes and feel

Not only the beautiful scenery but also the kind and welcoming climbing community makes this granite trad climbing area so attractive. It isn’t very crowded and most of the climbers visit Bohuslän on a regular basis, this makes the community feel small with a ‘everyone knows everyone’ vibe. Also, the geography makes that climbers are spread out over different sectors so even on a crowded day you can find yourself alone on a beautiful granite hill. I personally was welcomed with open arms, people showing me around the best crags and giving me tips and tricks.


Overnight stay

For overnight you have two great options where climbers gather. We stayed at the Bohusläns Klätter Klubb hut in Dingle. A beautiful hut you can stay for a few euros per night. The other place is the Häller Klätter Campground right next to the main sector, Häller. Here you can stay with a tent, campervan or rent a room in the house. The house also serves as a common space and is very cozy and clean, the perfect place if you want to have a good base to hang out on rainy days or just at night for cooking and having a beer.



When the weather was bad, we had some training sessions in the Klubb’s bouldergym ‘Bro Boulder’ in Brodalen. Just get in contact with the climbing club to see if it would be possible to pay for an entrance online or at the Tempo store in Brodalen.



The community really does an amazing effort to bring people together but also protect the nature by organizing themselves well. I honestly never saw a non-profit climbing club preserving their local area with so much care and respect for nature, the climbers and the local habitants. You can really feel the climbers are on a good page with the local farmers, this is the merit of a well organized community. Basic rules like no shouting at the crags, parking in the designated parking spots and staying on the paths help the community to keep good relations with the local farmers.



We traveled from Belgium to Sweden with the Van. Next time I would travel by car or public transport, bring my bike and stay at the Klubb hut. It’s the perfect destination for a environmentally low impact trip because the climbing sectors are close to eachother. In case you travel on your own, I’m sure that in May and June it will be quite easy to find climbing partners when the weather is good.



I would recommend to bring a minimum of a double rack of friends, triple up the small sizes and add some small wires and RP’s if you plan to attack some of the difficult grades. Bohuslän also has some offwidths so if you are keen to suffer and rip your clothes, bring those big sizes. Because most crags don’t have bolted anchors it is recommended to bring a 20 to 30m static rope to build comfortable anchors for toproping. Don’t forget your ropeprotectors, granite can be sharp!


Bohuslän is a great place to learn how to trad climb. Lots of crags have very low angle routes which are easy to protect with very solid rock. In many sectors it’s easy to put up a toprope from above. When building a gear anchor, make sure to use enough pieces of gear, equalize the load and install the main anchor point well over the edge so your dynamic rope doesn’t suffer any friction.


Time of the year

I personally love the cold, so April and November seem like months with great conditions if it’s dry. But for most of the climbers, May and October are great. In June, July and August and September weather is mostly nice and sunny with a real vacation feel thanks to the beautiful patches of grass below some of the crags. The different sectors offer shady and sunny walls, so depending on temperatures, there is enough to choose from. The sea and fjords are never far away so there is easy access for a nice summer or winter dip.



“Klättering i Bohuslän” (2015) by Hanna and Petter Restrop is the tradclimbing guide of the area. Unfortunately, this one is sold out since a while. There are rumors of a new one that is in the make for the end of 2023. Until then you can use the 27Crags online guide which is fairly useful.



Oh yes, there is some high class bouldering in Bohuslän. It’s just big enough they even made a guidebook from it! “Bouldering i Bohuslän” (2018) by Gryttr.