The Swiss elite national team athlete Natalie Bärtschi scores the climbing route Open Shoulders in Flatanger, Norway.

Normally Natalie Bärtschi is found in the Magic Wood or in the Tessiner Boulder areas. Her favorite style is a trailer and strong trains. For once she swapped the crashpad for harness and rope and traveled to Norway.

"The landscape here is simply breathtaking, wild and at the same time quiet and cozy, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And the climbing in the Hanshelleren Cave is surreal. The rock reminds me of Brione, only one climbs here on the rope. "

Natalie Bärtschi on the climbing area Flatanger in Norway
Natalie Bärtschi testing the Open Shoulders (8a +) route in Flatanger. (Picture Walter Strbad)

In the Hanshelleren Cave she succeeded during the trip to the route Open Shoulders, her first 8a + route. We asked Natalie to send us a few lines for her Flatanger trip.

World class rock in breathtaking surroundings!

Natalie Bärtschi on the climbing area Flatanger in Norway

For many people, Flatanger is just a cave with many heavy trails from Adam Ondra. Although this unique roof climbing with countless Knieklemmern has its charm, the most beautiful routes are in my eyes outside the cave. Even though the left part of the wall looks almost flat in comparison, the routes here are slightly overhanging.

In this section of the wall you will find 40 routes between 6b and 8b +, each one with unique rock structures in the best gneiss. The shorter routes are about 15-20 meters long and often have a slightly heavier extension up to 40 meters, rarely more. Despite this considerable length, you do not need a ton of stamina, because often there are several good rest positions between the key points. The climbing requires strong shoulders and a good body tension, small strips are rather rare and then usually round and skin-friendly.

Evening mood in Flatanger. (Picture Maxi Zwicklbauer)

Nevertheless, we had to regularly put on rest days to recover from the physically very demanding climbing style. The initially summery temperatures up to 25 degrees also allowed a dip in the cool waters of the local fjords. Toward the end of the autumn came autumn with much colder weather, often accompanied by rain and wind.

Fortunately, most of the trails are dry and you can climb in the rain here. Remo scored his Muy Verdes (8c) project on our final day of climbing. My highlight was the celebration of Open Shoulders (8a +), my first route in this degree. All in all, 3 weeks were not enough to try all those innumerable beautiful lines, but every single reason is enough to return soon!

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Credits: Cover picture Walter Strbad