My Guide to Hiking Trolltunga
Despite not being an experienced hiker (read: has never hiked before in my life) I could not miss the opportunity whilst in Norway to take the famous hike up to Trolltunga. I was under no illusions that it would be hard. I had read numerous online reviews about how it was ‘the hardest day of my life, both physically and mentally.’ I was prepared.
Or not really. Turns out doing 20 minutes on a stair master in the gym the week before flying out does not really count as preparation. Either way, I decided I would still do it as I considered myself to be relatively fit. Despite being labelled as 13.6 miles round trip online, by phone reckons it was more like 18 miles, and 49,000 steps.
Hopefully this blog will help others hoping to do the hike.
Trolltunga is rock that sticks out about 700m above sea level in Norway. People used to do this hike over two days, hike up, stay the night and hike back down. This would be an amazing way to break up the trip and see sunrise. They built a funicular which meant people began to do the hike in one day, but this has been closed since 2010. I have read online about people using the old steps beside the track to climb up but these were definitely closed when we attempted it in August 2016.
We paid in the carpark, which you must do at the beginning, and then climbed the 1st km up stone steps. These were very slippery but there was rope in place to help you up. We started the trial at 5am due to advice from fellow hikers where we stayed. We passed one or two people, but we pretty much had the trail to ourselves. When we reached the first kilometre we felt like we had done much more than this!
There are red T’s everywhere marking your way, and signs every kilometre to let you know how far you’ve gone. In the 2nd km I managed to fall in a stream and soak myself, and the best advice I had read was to bring a pair of clean socks to put on at the top for the way down. I would say bring plenty of food and water, although you can fill up your water bottle on the way. Things such as protein bars and flapjacks are great to take up!
The best thing about starting so early was that we barely had to queue at the top, we were up there by 10 and spent about an hour and a half up there, but we only queued for 15 minutes to have our time on the tongue and took plenty of photos! On the way down we passed hundreds of people, and were grateful we had started so early. Most people were in hiking boots, but we saw people in flip flops which I would not recommend! We both wore trainers and were fine but this was in August. The weather is extremely changeable, take layers and waterproofs, we were thankful when the train came on the way down.
We stayed in Odda and had a car so our journey was easy to the base, but you can get to Odda from Bergen or Oslo by bus or train. From Odda, where most people chose to stay the night before and after, you can take a bus through Tyssedal and up into the mountain of Skjeggedal, this is where the trail begins. There is not much accommodation in the area, and your best bet is probably an Airbnb.