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This week I bring to you one of the last of my maternity-cover posts, wow how time flies when you’re metaphorically and physically drowning in dirty nappies and breast milk! I am scheduling this post as an 85kg pregnant lady who can’t even walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. HOPEFULLY by the time you read this I will be slim and in the process of regaining my fitness in order to undertake hikes like this! Today’s post is all about one of my most recent bucket list additions- hiking Trolltunga.
We’ve all seen the Pinterest photo of Trolltunga in Norway: someone standing victoriously on a piece of rock jutting 700 m high over a breath-taking fjord.
You (most likely): “Oh snap! Bucket-list!! Better pin that ish.”
(Most likely not) you: “Hmm…I wonder what safety information I need to know for this hike” (Nerd!)
Well, lucky you! I am here to tell you everything I know about this hike! But still do a little more research before heading off on your grand adventure, please. Things change.
Fun fact: trolltunga translates to “trolls tongue” in Norwegian.
Getting to the Trolltunga Trailhead
The best town to start from is Odda. You can take a bus and/or train from Stavanger, Bergen, or Oslo. IDK, there’s probably a bus from anywhere! Once in Odda, you can prebook a shuttle or take public transportation. The bus is your cheapest bet. Check out this page for more information on public transportation.
We drove from Odda to Skjeddedal and paid the 200 NOK to park for one day. Our deciding reason to drive was we wanted to start our hike at 4 AM and beat any crowds. Despite the early start, we still saw about 15 people on the trail.
Hiking to Trolltunga
YUP. 1 km vertical gain in 4 km. Have fun!
Hands down, Trolltunga in Norway is the most challenging hike I’ve ever done. Trolltunga is 22 km round trip and the first 4 km are the most punishing. There are no bathrooms on the trail, so use the ones at the trailhead. Don’t pee directly into the water sources! Remember to Leave No Trace.
The first km will have you scrambling up stone steps. When you come down those same steps, your knees will be crying.
Slippery and more slippery.
The second and third kms are a little more scenic, but still brutal. There is no camping after the third km, according to the official Odda webpage, but that didn’t deter the numerous campers we saw. I wish we had camped out there! I can’t even imagine how beautiful the stars are on a clear night, or how incredible the dawn breaking must look.
After the 4th km, the route has less ups and downs, but your breath will be taken away by the beautiful surroundings.
There might be snow. When we hiked in July 2016, there was no snow, and not a cloud in the sky! The day before and the day after we hiked were cloudy and overcast all day *shrugs*. Nature, man.
Handsome men greet you at the top!
The trail is easy to follow at first, but as it become more difficult we followed cairns (rock piles) and looked for spray painted “T” along the trail.
While we only saw about 15 people on the hike to trolltunga, on the hike home, we saw about 1,500 people (NO JOKE). It was the busiest day so far that year (according to a ranger) because of the incredible weather. This, naturally, changed the trail a great deal. SO MUCH MUD. There were also helicopters circling during our return.
So many friends by 1 PM!
What to Bring
Dang, I can’t say it better than this infographic from the Odda webpage.
But I’m going to try:
- one water bottle, plan on refilling from natural sources along the way
- lunch, easy snacks, and energy bars and chews
- layers! The clothes you’ll need for a hike to trolltunga are: waterproof shell top and bottom, layer for warmth, workout top, one pair of comfortable and thick pants, beanie for your head, and gloves. The weather can change very quickly; come prepared!
- a change of socks (at the top, it feels AMAZING to change socks!)
- waterproof hiking shoes
- basic first aid kit (Dave and I used band aids and our blister kit)
Norway has created The Mountain Code which has some solid rules to follow while camping and hiking in Norway. Check it out.
2 km to the bottom and we were only wearing two layers
Where to Stay
We stayed in an Airbnb which was fine with us! We met a few lovely couples and shared some hot-coco and traveling tips.
There are hotels around, but they are expensive and I’m not made of money, yo.
Trolltunga is 100% worth it and 100% will not kill you if you come prepared. In case you feel really confident, let me shatter that day-dream with these articles.
In total, hiking trolltunga took us 8.5 hours: 4.5 hours to reach the tongue, 1 hour of rest and photos, and 3 hours hiking down.
I’ve heard the line for photos can take up to TWO HOURS. Since we were there before 10am, it took us 15-20 minutes to get through the line.
Have you hiked trolltunga before? What additional advice would you give? Tell me below!
Keep your ear out for more stories from Sarah on her blog at Half Heard Stories.