The breathtaking Lofoten Islands lie off Norway's Northern coast, West to Narvik and 200 km North of the Artic Circle. They are shaped in five large and five smaller islands and offer a wide choice of granite rock-climbing as well as winter mountaineering and summer scrambling.
Helvetestinden - literally The Hell Peak - is a mighty granite peak lying on Moskenesøy Island, the Lofoten westernmost island. Its location is truly spectacular, since the Helvetestinden stunning West face, 600 meters drop, is overlooking the wide and white sandy beach of Bunestranda, one of the more scenic and isolated beaches on the Lofoten Islands, and the Norwegian Sea.
Some challenging trad climbing routes run on the awesome West face of Helvetestinden, but notwithstanding the impressive steepness of this cliff, scramblers and hikers may easily climb the peak along the "Sor Ryggen" (South Ridge), an excellent route to reach the summit, a wonderful place to enjoy breathtaking views all around.
Getting ThereGETTING TO LOFOTEN
There are various possibilities:
- By ferry boat from Bodø to Moskenes, Værøy or Røst (South of Lofoten)
- By ferry boat from Skutvik to Svolvær or Skrova (North of Lofoten)
- By plane from Bodø
- By car from Narvik via Evenes to Svolvær
Getting to Helvetestinden
The reference-point is the picturesque village of Reine, lying on the shore of Reinefjorden, on the island of Moskenesøy, to the South of Lofoten. Two different ways to get to Reine:
- by car from Svolvær, following the E10, a beautiful trip across the islands in about 124 km.
- by ferry boat directly from Bodø to Moskenes (5 km. from Reine)
The approach walk to Helvetestinden is starting from the small village of Vinstad, lying at the entrance of Bunesfjorden; Vinstad is very well reached in 1 hour from Reine, sailing by ferry into Reinefjorden and Kierkefjorden, another wonderful trip amongst several impressive granite-peaks.
Sor Ryggen (South Ridge) Normal Route reportSor Ryggen (Normal Route) report
Summit altitude: m 606
Difficulty: Easy scramble
Difference in level: 600 m from Vindstad wharf
Starting point: Vindstad wharf
A very interesting and panoramic route to enjoy exciting views over the fjords and the majestic granite peaks all around Kierkefjorden and Bunesfjorden
From Vindstad's wharf follow an easy path along Bunesfjorden’ left shore (Western shore) crossing the small village and reaching the fjord’s back. A good track on the left (signpost “Bunes”) leads to a pass - Einangen Col - where you can enjoy quite exciting views over the scenic beach and the majestic walls overlooking it. From the col the main trail reach the beach; to get to Helvetestinden summit head to right, crossing a grassy slope and taking a track – in the beginning not very obvious - which leads to the gentle sloping gully rising amongst granite slabs to Brunaksla Col, where is located the starting point of South Ridge. From the col an amazing view over Kierkefjorden’s back with the village of Kierkfjord appears.
The trail heads to left; an easy scramble along the ridge with exciting views both to Bunestranda and the mighty peaks dominating the beach on the left-hand and Kierkfjorden on the right-hand leads over the top. A sensational view over Norwegian sea appears to the North. You can register yourself on the Summit-Book, curiously placed inside a little cairn by a tyrolean team of climbers.
Routes overview***Helvetestinden West Face Routes (Norwegian Scale)
Different challenging trad climbing routes run on the stunning West Wall of the peak. From left to right:
- “Left Approximation” 6- 600 mt.
- “Helvetesveggen” 5+, A1 500 mt.
- “The Next Best Thing” 6+ 300 mt.
- “Norwegian Sheep Ranch” 7 300 mt.
- “Den Franske Pillaren” (The French Pillar) Grade unknown 300 mt.
Descent: along "Sor Ryggen" (South Ridge)
More climbing information:
Rockfax Lofoten Guidebook- in English
Red TapeThere are no particular restrictions in climbing and hiking.
Where to stayFree camping in Bunestranda is a nice experience; it's an unforgettable beach lying below Helvetestinden majestic West Face. You're getting there after 45 minutes by walking from Vindstad.
Anyhow, there are some equipped campgrounds in the area:
- Moskenes Camping, Moskenes
- Skagen Camping, Flakstad
- Moskenesstraumen Camping, Å i Lofoten
The typical Norwegian "rorbuer" can be rented in Reine.
When to climb and hikeBest months are late May, June, July and August.
ClimateOn Lofoten the weather can change suddenly from clear and blu sky with sunshine or the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) to violent storms with rain or snow. Maximum temperatures go from +30°C in June and July to -15°C in January and February; the average temperatures for these months are from +12°C to -3°C. The period with the minimum rainfall goes from April to June, while we may expect the maximum rainfall or snowfall between October and December.
Midnight sun: from 27 May to 17 July
Polar night: from 6 December to 6 January
The Northern Lights can be seen over Lofoten from September to April.
Useful info about climate: Meteorologisk Institutt
External LinksClimbing info: Rockfax Lofoten Guidebook
Tourist info: Lofoten Islands
"Walks and Scrambles in Norway" by Anthony Dyer, Ian H. Robertson and John Baddeley