Setesdal is both a district and a long wonderful valley in Aust-Agder County in Southern Norway, really a wild world of water and stone. Plenty of mountains, lakes and dozens of granite dômes feature the valley and make it a true paradise for hikers and climbers. It's a primary rock area: high walls, slabs, cracks and blocks, trad and sportive routes, multipitches and single pitch. Here every climber, from the sport one to the lover of the big walls and the challenging clean routes, will find bread for his teeth...
Løefjell is defintely the highlight of Setesdal and one of the four mountains surrounding Brokke, a resort located in a side valley of Setesdal along the road to Suleskar-Stavanger, Its South wall is about 1.5 km wide and it is one of the most tremendous slab in the surroundings and far from.
Løefjell is a favourite place among many climbers due to its excellent location and perfect rock, a rough granite with plenty of quartz veins, feauring about 190 different routes. There are long and trad alpine routes on which the climber is required to master the 6th grade and place the protections by himself, but also about 150 sport routes, with very varying profiles and more or less well bolted. One of the most interesting climb is the route "East of Easy", recently equipped with chains at the stands. Another fine sector is "Plaisir", which has a great choice of long and shorter routes of varying difficulty.
Setesdal is a beautiful place to stay, climb and hike. It's quickly approached from the Torp-Sandefjord airport in Southern Norway via the E18 highway in the direction of Fiane. Here exit the E18 and take the road S41 then the S42 leading to Evje. Before getting Evje, leave the road S42 and turn to the road S9 entering the Setesdal.
The distance of Løefjell from the main highway 9 through Setesdal is 4 km. and you can approach it both from Valle and Rysstad, two of the main tourist centers of the valley. From Valle you must drive South about 12 km, while from Rysstad drive North. In both cases take the side road 45 in direction of Sirdal and drive up about 4 km to get Brokke the S wall of the mountain. The resort has cottages and several parking lots, distributed at the base of the extensive wall depending on the various climbing sectors.
The broad South wall of Løefjell is divided in various different sectors. From left to right we have:
- Skole - West end of the wall, good and varied single pitches
- Brokkestøylen - good and varied single and multipitches routes (up to 240 m)
- Soccer - To the right of Brokkestøylen, this sectore features some easier single pitches, advisable for beginners
- Goldgraber - Mainly long routes up to 400 m
- Bigwall - In the middle of the wall - Long trad and clean routes up to 400 m; some shorter sport routes
- Plaisir - A beautiful and broad sector on the right of the wall, one of the most popular of Løefjell and in the whole Setesdal; mainly sport and plaisir routes from single pitches to multipitches up 400 meters
"Blue" route report - UIAA scale
Superb route on excellent granite, pleasant and fun, with fixed equipment. Setting of great beauty. Blue is located in the right part of the wall, in the Sector Plaisir", sub-Sector "Color".
Approach - From the parking lot of the Via Ferrata (signpost) follow shortly the path entering the wood and leading at the base of the Sector "Plaisir". Skirt the wall to the right to find the start of the route below a short black wall in the Sector "Color" amongst some single pitch.
L1 - Climb a blackish wall with good holds, IV+, 40 m
L2 - A superb pitch with spaced bolts. Up a thin crack slanting left, then come back to the right to climb a fine wall with small "reglettes" and belay on a comfortable ledge, VI-, 55 m
L3 - Up just above the stand, then slightly to the left to get the belay, V+, 50 m
L4 - Slightly to the right up a blade, then on a slab oblique to the right to take a flared dihedral. Climb it on its left wall, continue on a slab, then traverse to the left to reach the stop, V+, 45 m
L5 - Traverse left, then slanting left on a broad slab and at the end directly on a black slab to the stop.
Descent - abseiling the same route (5 abseils)
The high wall of Løefjell can be climbed along the Via Ferrata Brokke, a friendly route very well equipped with facilities (stainless steel cable and numerous steps) that allows you to overcome the wall and gain the top of the mountaintaking breathtaking views.
Approach - From the parking lot of the Via Ferrata (signpost) follow shortly the path entering the wood and leading to the base of the wall. Once you reach the base of the wall, take a few meters to the left and you will meet the Via ferrata signboard and the start of the equipment.
The climb is always pleasant and fun and leads to the summit plateau about 200 meters from the top. At the exit of the Via Ferrata head to left to get quickly the summit, which is marked by an antenna and a cabin. Near the summit, at about 300 meters in the North East direction there is also a surprising lake!
More info here: Via Ferrata Brokke
There is also a path all the way to the summit. The hike is quite recommended and may be done as a summit trip, returning the same way; alternatively it's possible to return on the eastern side, down Kveiribben and back along the old road leading to the Løefjell cabin area. This round trip has a steep descent and is not marked! On the summit there is a box with a guest book. Other hikes in the area are to the summits Uvedalsfjellet, Vardefjell and to Kvisletoppen via Brokke Alpinsenter.
No fees no permits required.
The best season goes from June to September
The closest accomodation is on the Brokke Alpinesenter, just below the mountain. Alternatively there are various possibilities in Valle, Ryssdat or in other resorts in the main Setesdalen.
Meteo Aust-Agder Valle here.
"Setesdal" - Climbing in Southern Norway by Hans Weninger, Peter Brunnert - Panico Alpineverlag 2013