Watch crime novelist Jo Nesbø scale a 30-metre cliff face for Vogue Scandinavia

By Eliza Sörman Nilsson

Rock climbing might seem like an unlikely sport for someone who doesn't like heights, but for Norway's bestselling author Jo Nesbø, being on top of the world is the one way to conquer your fears

At Oslo rock climbing hot spot, Løkenhavna klatrefelt, Norwegian author Jo Nesbø is scaling a cliff face while drones circle him.


Flashback to a year ago when Vogue Scandinavian’s editor-in-chief Martina Bonnier sat next to the famed crime writer at the magazine’s launch lunch in the Norway capital, where he talked incessantly about rock climbing. Ever since then it has been a goal to get him to climb for our pages. The video, and article from our August-September issue, showcases the unique Scandinavian environment but also offers a new perspective on the bestseller who is actually scared of heights.

For Nesbø, it's the mental challenge of rock climbing that endeared him to the sport. Dangling off a cliff face is not a natural state for him but the discomfort gives him that oft-chased adrenaline rush. “When you are rock climbing the fear factor is always there and it’s an important part of it,” he explains. “But it’s also a way to explore your own psyche and see what situations allow you to act rationally or where you mentally break down and just cling to the wall in a very inefficient way.”

While we think of rock climbing as something that brings you closer to nature, Nesbø actually sees it as an “urban sport” that caters to adrenaline junkies. He explains that oftentimes the best rocks are found in or close to city centres. In Oslo, he doesn’t have to travel far to be surrounded by “boulders or routes that are like 30 metres long” that can be “done as an afternoon activity”. In this video, we catch up with Nesbø on one of these "afternoons" which sees him scaling a boulder all while commenting on his career and revealing just how he keeps those Harry-Hole shocks coming.

Vogue Scandinavia

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