Hold on tight! Rock climbing and rappelling in Vang granite quarry, Bornholm
“Argh. Stupid rock! I slipped. Please don’t drop me!”
Hanging like a pendulum from a 12 metres granite rock, I pray for dear life and that my instructor, Anders, really holds on as tight as he promised. I’m rock climbing in Vang Granitbrud (granite quarry) on Bornholm, and even though I’m swearing my way through the lesson and my fingers are raw with the effort of holding ON to that s t u p i d rock, I’m loving every second of it.
Vang granite quarry is an amazing spot near Hasle in the western part of Bornholm. For more than a 100 years, granite has been quarried here and exported to German rivers, the Great Belt and the great expansion of Copenhagen back in 1900. In 1996 the granite quarry went out of business, but parts of the quarry, chutes, walls, etcetera still bear witness to past times. Today Vang granite quarry has been transformed into an outdoor hotspot, sporting among other things shelters, constructed paths, mountain bike tracks and climbing facilities.
Anders Pedersen from Bornholms Outdoorcenter introduced us to rock climbing and somehow got me to defy the granite (and gravity!) and believe that I could, in fact, climb a vertical wall. And somehow I succeeded. Before the pendulum incident, that is. But onwards and upwards, right? And I got there in the end - pendulum or not.
Afterwards it was more about climbing down than up – rappelling it was. And let me be absolutely clear: It is not natural to step off a 12 metres cliff – especially not backwards. However, stubbornness got the better of me, and once again I did something I would have sworn not to, just days before. And what a high! (Quite literally). I now understand why people can be addicted to climbing and rappelling. Especially in surroundings as breathtaking (also quite literally) as the granite quarry. Go try it, but remember to team up with someone, who knows what he’s/she’s doing. Rumour has it that granite is hard as stone to fall on …
Bornholms Outdoorcenter is run by Anders Pedersen and has existed since 2013. Anders is outdoorsy to the core and educated outdoor teacher, climbing instructor, kayak instructor, etc. Bornholms Outdoorcenter specialises in everything outdoor, from climbing and rappelling/abseiling to mountainbike, diving, kayaking, etc.
I was invited to Bornholm by Dansk Ø-ferie, but words and viewpoints are entirely my own.