This is Norway's national mountain, and no wonder. It's a perfect obelisk with sweeping ridges rising straight from the sea. Slingsby, the British father of Norwegian mountaineering is quoted as saying this is the ugliest mountain he ever saw. Perhaps this had something to do with his failure at achieving the summit. First climbed in 1910 by the same team that ascended Svolværgeita. It's easiest route today is rated 5.6, but the real joy are the long technical ridge climbs such as the west and south ridges, which are both in the 5.10 range. Those needing a larger challenge can tackle the North Face, with scores of hard aid pitches and spicy traverses. One route on the North face is rumored to have 50 pitches, but I havn't confirmed that yet. Rockfax publishes a detailed 'miniguide' to Stetind's South Pillar, a 14 pitch, 5.10b climb, and Stetind.nu has other climbing resources, most are in Norwegian, but the topos need no translation. Topptur has published a new guide to the area,(2010) check the external links section.
The closest large towns are Narvik to the North, and Bodø to the south.
From Narvik drive South on E6 until reaching highway 827 signed to Kjøpsvik. Follow this road through two tunnels until reaching a parking lot\rest area with a small monument to the highways construction. Stetind looms directly overhead. The access trail is easy to find from here.
From Bodø, access E6 and drive north for about 1.5 hours until reaching signs for highway 827 signed 'Drag Kjøpsvik'. Follow this highway for a short way until reaching the ferry. After the ferry, drive through several tunnels until Stetind is abundantly visible. Stop to snap a photo, then continue to the parking\rest area at the base of the mountain.
The trail is first marked with red paint along the trees, later it is marked with the occasional red T marked on a rock, or cairns. The trail becomes a climbers path and fades out in talus at the moraine above a lake.
There is a bolting closure on Stetind, in case you're thinking of new routes. There are free camping areas off the roads in the area as long as you are not within sight of permanent habitations, or on cultivated land.
When To Climb
The original route is snow free by mid June, often the South Pillar approach is blocked with snow until mid July. Climbing season ends in September. The entire months of June and July have midnight sun. It is possible to climb in the winter, outside of the dark months of December and January.
Detailed climbing guide to the South Pillar, Stetinds most popular route.
- Webpage dedicated to Stetind
Most information in Norwegian, Good topos of the most popular routes, as well as links to other climbing sites. Excellent photo gallery.
As always, when Kent Hugo climbs something, he posts a great series of photos. Worth checking out.