I have just come back from one of Norway’s most famous hiking trails. This weekend I ventured out to Trolltunga (or the troll’s tongue in English). It takes 3 hours by car to reach the start of the trail and another 8-10 hours to hike to the spot and back down again.
With two other Norwegians, we drove from Bergen to Tyssedal and through the Skjeggedal valley. We camped at the base of the trail by Vetlavatnet, a dam which supplies drinking water to the residents within the Odda region.
At this point we were already 443 metres above sea level. The first leg of the hike then involved taking either: the 960 m long stairs alongside Mågelibanen; or the 1.5 km long trail beside the stairs, both of which gained an altitude of 410 m. We opted for the trail and I was rewarded with beautiful Nordic nature and scenery.
We climbed another 330 m before arriving at Trombeskar. This area of the trail was above the tree line, meaning that only small plants and mosses grew here. Small ponds were scattered across the area and hundreds upon hundreds of moss stained stones were littered along the mountainside. At this point we were now about 1.2 km above sea level.
Hiking onwards opened up our view of the huge resovoir Ringedalsvatnet, a dam which supplies hydropower to Odda. It was built over a century ago and has operated ever since. Two rivers which flowed into this lake were sealed off to prevent overflow. Signs of the last ice age 10,000 years ago are evident along the upper ridges of the lake, where thick cracks are visible along the edges. Huge sheets of ice during the glaciation period sliced through the solid granite rock, forming unique cliffs and ridges which have remained standing since.
After 4.5 hours or 13 km of hiking, we finally reached our destination! The famous Trolltunga, which attracts thousands of tourists ever year. In the summer it receives up to 500 visitors per day! Lucky for us we were hiking in the off season and there were probably less than 100 people who were visiting the famous stone. This trip marks my longest hike yet, and it’s definitely my favourite by far!