The Epic Trolltunga Hike – Meter by Meter


Author's Note:

As a part of a two week backpacking expedition to Norway, my favorite hiking buddy, Fred, and I set out for a memorable experience. My intention with this post is to encourage you to plan your own trip to Trolltunga and the Hordaland province, because it is my assumption that the raw, indescribable beauty of Norway's nature will please any adventurous soul. I hope you enjoy this piece.

Happy Trails!
Mikkel

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THE FAMOUS TROLLTUNGA 

Most people with a smartphone, internet-access and a fondness for following outdoor photographers, adventurers and hiker profiles have stumbled across this Norwegian gem at least once on social media. Trolltunga (Norwegian for Trolls Tongue) is one of the most spectacular scenic cliffs in Norway. Situated 1100 meters above sea level, it hovers 700 meters above the surrounding lakes (or, as the Norwegians prefer: fjords).

TROLLTUNGA - 'THE EPIC HIKE'

The Trolltunga Trail is often coined as being 'the epic hike', because it takes you through the high mountains and breathtaking, raw wilderness of the Hordaland Province. The trail embarks from the little town of Skjeggedal and ascents 1000 meters to the Trolltunga cliff formation, making it a long and demanding hike.

So, with a little introduction in place, let's get to it...

This is The Epic Trolltunga Hike - Meter by Meter.

ODDA BUS TERMINUS

Where: Odda
Altitude meters: Sea level
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 0 KM

In order to get to Skjeggedal, you'll have to depart from the city of Odda (20 min from Skjeggedal). This is how Odda bus terminus looks like. All of the city busses departs from this station and you honestly cannot miss it. Unless you grab a taxi or you have a vehicle of your own, this is most likely where you Trolltunga adventure begins.

PRO TIP #1: Water source
Fill up your water bottles at the station’s washrooms. This is your last resort before you hit the Trolltunga trail.

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EVERY JOURNEY BEGINS WITH THE FIRST STEP

Where: Skjeggedal
Altitude meters: 480 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 0 KM

A happy and excited Mikkel at the start of the trail. The trail begins just 50 meters from the parking lot.


 

PHEW, WHAT A START

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 650 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 0,5 KM

You will experience that the trail demands 300 altitude meters within the first kilometer of the trail. Quite the start, you walk straight into heaven, so to speak. Nonetheless, the trail is well-kept and there is ropes to assist you on the harder passes. And... take a look at the views. Ain't bad. Ain't bad at all.

PRO TIP #2: Start early
Preferably around 6 – 8 am. This section can get a little bit cramped, because it is narrow and it’s hard to the skip in front… and not everyone’s a mountain goat.

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THE SMALL PLATEAU

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 750 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 1 KM

We finally made the top of the first ascend! The surroundings are remarkabely different from the beginning of the trail as the tree limit is approaching. The trail opens op, gets wider and best of all – rinshing, streams of fresh glacier water appears. What a reward.

PRO TIP #3: Picnic spot
You’ll find a lot of large, flat rocks at this point. Perfect for a little rest or even a picnic.

PRO TIP #4: Camp site
Now, by official rules it is prohibited to set up camp 'till you are 4 kilometers into the trail, but to be fair, we saw at least three tents set up around the 1 kilometer plateau. No one really checks. We meet at father and his son who set up camp at the plateau, left their belongings in the tent and hiked the entire trail with a bottle of water and some crackers… instead of carrying heavy backpacks all the way to the top. Wise choice.


 

THE GRAND PLATEAU

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1000 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 3 KM

After a short break and replenishing of water bottles at the small pleteau, we reached the grand plateau. It stretches far and wide from the 1 km to 3 km sign. The terrain is some what flat with gives you some time to catch your breath and really enjoy the astonishing nature. Also, you get the feeling that you are now venturing into a more raw landscape (as you have passed the tree limit).

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GLACIER LAKE!

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1180 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 4 KM

After a litte ascend of approx. 200 altitude meters from kilometer 3 to 4, the terrain changes drastically. Snow packs appears, no trees in any sight – sort of resembles Man’s Planet from Interstellar. 

PRO TIP #5: Camp site
It’s a cool place to set up camp – and it is legal! We camped here for the night, though, we rather have camped at the top plateau of Trolltunga, which we later learned was possible.


 

VAST OPEN LAND

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1150 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 5 KM

Promptly after we left the glacier lake, we entered one of the coolest sections of the trail. We started to skim the majestic lakes of the Hordaland Province.

PRO TIP #6: Emergency cabin
First emergency cabin is located in this section

 

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HALFWAY TO THE TOP

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1170 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 6 KM

Not much of difference from the past kilometer, but the 6 kilometer sign marked that we were halfway and, despite the cold and harsh weather, it was a comforting sight.

 


 

ENTHRALLING VIEWS

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1200 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 7-8 KM

Around the 7 to 8 kilometer section, the trail makes a left turn, but if you do a small deroute to the right, you’ll experience a mesmerizing view point. I’ll let the picture do the talking here.

 

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A short video clip from a snowy day on the Trolltunga trail
(1-2 KM to the top at this point)

WHERE IS THAT DAMN ROCK. COME ON.

Where: Towards Trolltunga!
Altitude meters: 1200-1100 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 8-10 KM

There is a small ascend to the 8 kilometer sign, but the trail drops hereafter and flattens out 'till we reached Trolltunga. The really cool thing about the final section of the trail is that the cliff formation remains hidden 'till the very moment you reach the 11 kilometer sign, approx. 100 meters away from the actual cliff formation. We found this to be super cool, because it sparks some serious tension and excitement. Presumably, the snowy conditions may have played a role in this.

PRO TIP #7: Water source
Fill up your water bottles in the streams on the descend from the 8 km sign. The waiting time at Trolltunga can be pretty harsh (30 – 45 min on sunny days), so it might be a good idea to refill. We waited 0 min. Wonder why.


 

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THE TROLL'S TONGUE

Where: The Trolltunga cliff formation
Altitude meters: 1200 m
How far into the Trolltunga hike: 11 KM

After a demanding day, we reached the top. The site of Trolltunga is wide and open with plenty of room for breaks and picture shooting. It was such a cool experience to finally be standing on Trolltunga. The massive drop to Ringedalsvattnet beneath Trolltunga is terrifyingly awesome. Standing, sitting, squatting, what-ever-you-do on the cliff formation seems crazy, but it is not as frightening as one may expect it to be. The cliff formation tilts slightly upwards and is fairly wide. We felt like we had a good grip on our feet. Still – one have to be aware of what one is doing out there…

PRO TIP #8: Camp site
As earlier mentioned, there is a plateau where you can set up camp RIGHT above the Trolltunga cliff formation. Seems extreme, but it apparently quite popular site for photographers. The sunset and –rise should be immensely beautiful. Will definitely do this the next time.

 


 

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Author's Note:

Thanks for reading this piece! I am quite happy with the way it turned out. I hope you felt entertained or - even better - now feel motivated and inspired to seek your own Norwegian wilderness experience. Honestly, Trolltunga is one heck of a great starting point. IF you have any questions about Trolltunga, please, do not hesitate to drop me a message through my contact page or by e-mail: mikkel@wildstray.com. Also, I am a part of the WildTribe content creator community and this trip was featured in an article with the title 'Mikkel Fogt - Exploring Norway, land of the Vikings'. Click to if you want to see more of my expedition to Norway.

 

Happy Trails!
Mikkel


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