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Climbing Route Description Sydpilaren (The Southern Pillar) - southwestern face

Difficulty: 6-
Climbing Distance: 13 pitches
First ascent: Arne Næss and Else Hertzberg, 1936
First unroped ascent: Håkan Bjerneld and Lars-Göran Johansson, 1972
First winter ascent: Thorbjørn Enevold, Micael Sundberg and Magnar Osnes, 1988

Sydpilaren is the most famous climbing route to the top of Mt. Stetind. It lives up to its name. The route seems hardly manageable as it winds its way up the large granite pillar rocks through the middle of the south western face. However, its system of rock ledges makes the climbing possible and serves as the starting point of this classical route. Two other large rock ledge systems, Amphi 1 and Amphi 2, cross the route further up.

SydpilarenArne Næss and Else Hertzberg created a new route to the top of Mt. Stetind when they first ascended it via Sydpilaren in 1936. They applied a new climbing technique during the ascent. Bolts were used for both securing and moving upward. Næss had learned this technique in Austria, and now introduced it in Norway. Ascending Mt. Stetind via Sydpilaren was a very challenging and impressive achievement. Sydpilaren is still considered to be a high quality route with many scenic spots for climbers.


Follow the cairns through the landscape of granite rocks past the big flat rock above the Lake Svartvatnet. Do not take the clearly marked trail to the right. Instead, look for a less clearly marked trail further left. A big cairn at the foot of a gully sloping to the right marks the starting point of an alternative trail up toward Hall's Height. Do not follow the cairns to the left above the grassy slope, but continue ascending along the trail to the right for about 100 meters. Cairns mark a trail curving left toward a system of ledges. Follow the cliff ledges past a scree slope.
During the first half of summer, snow might still lie here. The marked snow area, often with large crevasses, may be slippery. The beginning of Sydpilaren is a flat cliff ledge called Kongelosjen, situated about 100 meters further into the mountain ledge which starts after the scree slope.


The way down follows the “main” route. Move down carefully, then rappel 15 meters down from Mysosten and continue the descent to Hall’s Height. Here the rope is not needed any longer. Follow the ridge and the cairns. Continue down the southern slope along the trail to be found long before reaching the saddle between Presstind and Hall’s Height. Follow the path down and then to the right until you get back to the Sydpilaren trail.


Many climbers use the ledge system at the end of the route (Amphi 2) to avoid complicated rope climbing at the top. Traverse Amphi 2 to reach the edge of the “main route”, directly above Mysosten. It is recommended to secure yourself with a rope, due to narrow ledges and exposed terrain.

Recommended gear

A standard climbing rack (several pitches) with nuts, cams and quickdraws. A double 60-meter rope might be handy to bring along, but is not a must-have.

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