The Guide to Trekking Trolltunga

Norway is a country of jaw dropping beauty, for what we in the US would consider National Parks, Norway just considers their entire damn country. Seriously as we drove through the west fjords we would find something ridiculously beautiful around every turn that you can’t find in many places! Massive waterfalls that would garner a large amount of attention anywhere else in the world were around every twist and bend in the road with nobody really stopping for them, just like; “oh look another 200 ft waterfall that’s nice moving on”, and a lot of people just had these large waterfalls in their backyards, yes seriously. For the nature or outdoor enthusiast, yes you, GO TO NORWAY. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth its weight in gold (especially Trolltunga)? You’re damn right.

The highlight of our road trip through Norway though without a doubt was the challenging trek to Trolltunga, the infamous “Trolls Tongue” of Norway. This view comes at a price, this price is a lot of blood, sweat, tears and some beers if you’re smart (seriously bring a celebratory beer for the end view and thank me later). Some natural “wonders” can be seen as a little overrated by some, but for Trolltunga, this end view (and the views going up) are worth every painful footstep up the trail.

For the adventurer looking for some real thrills and less than adequate weather conditions most of the time, then look no further than the legendary Trolltunga hike of Norway! More of an obstacle course consisting of mud, ropes, rain, snow, wind, and just about everything Mother Nature could throw at you (unless you luck out and get a nice day), it’s entirely too much fun for anyone looking for a real challenge!

The Trek

Beginning at the parking lot you will gaze up at the often muddy switchbacks that seem to go on forever up the mountain in front of you. This trek is an out and back that averages hikers abut 8-13 hours on average, took us 9 hours unless you count the camping up on top by Trolltunga itself (would recommend this if you have solid waterproof gear). It is not to be taken lightly, as measures should be made to have the proper gear, food, water, etc. We saw a couple of hikers get airlifted out by helicopter on the way down, so that should give you a good idea not to mess with this one unless prepared.

The first 4km are the hardest by far, as they basically go straight up the mountain with a good majority of the trek’s elevation gain wishing these first 4km, so once you are past this point, you’re doing great even if you have a good amount of Kilometers left.

Greeted by some locals on the way to the Trolltunga parking lot

For the first 2km uphill, you walk up the muddy pathway consisting of large stepping stones conveniently placed, sometimes there are guard rails to cling to, other times not so much. Make your way up slowly for these first 2km and do NOT overdress with layers right off the bat, you will work up a serious sweat up this portion so less is more to keep away from the infamous “cold sweat” that follows. There will be ropes attached to the trees for the second kilometer, these are placed here for the muddier spots with less than ideal footing. You would be wise to use all the ropes, as I saw multiple people lose their footing on this portion of the hike, and you won’t like the end result here.

Kilometer 3 and 4 are still not fun, I’ll level with you, as you are still gaining a good amount o the 605 meter elevation gain during this portion as well. Less sketchy with better footing here, but you’re not out of the woods yet (take this part SLOW on the way down as well, many people fell). You are no longer climbing up the stepping stones but now finding your own footing on grassy spots and rocks. Please don’t lose your footing here especially, as this one comes with the added fun of a bit of an actual drop-off in spots!

The fog finally began to clear more on the way down

Congratulations! You have made it past the first 4km and most of the serious elevation gain zones, but you will now find of the remaining 7km that it’s still very much an obstacle course, it’s definitely fun! You will have to cross rivers and streams, rock hop to avoid slick zones, cross logs, go through ice and snow (yes even in summer), tread through thick mud, and the list goes on. If you’re into doing things like the Spartan Race or Tough Mudder then you will probably enjoy this one even more than the common man/woman, trust me!

Around the 7th kilometer you will see first sight of the blue lake with the surrounding mountain ranges, how serene it all is, and you will suddenly realize just how worth it all the trekking was before this. It only gets more and more beautiful from here, as you witness waterfalls along the trek and out in the distance near the “Trolls Tongue”.

change of pants after this one please

As soon as you reach the 11th kilometer it will become obvious where the famous viewpoint is, I would recommend getting here on “off hours” like we did as there was nobody here but us for sunset (around 11:00pm) but again this is only if you packed in a  tent and sleeping bag! The viewpoint during the day I hear can be quite busy, but overall, that view is absolutely worth every step and I have extreme confidence that you will feel the same if you reach the end point! Some things in life are absolutely priceless, this view is one of those things,  but enough from me go experience this wonder for yourself!

PACK LIST

  1. Water 2-3 liters (minimum!)
  2. Waterproof jacket
  3. Waterproof pants
  4. Change of clothes (it gets VERY wet)
  5. Food for up to 12 hours (or more if camping)
  6. Waterproof backpack

Elevation Gain

605 meters (1,984 ft)

Season

All Seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)

Trail type

Out-and-Back

Total Distance

23km (14.3 miles)

 

Let me know if you have ANY questions about this one, I can’t recommend it enough it’s a true one a kind! Please leave comments and feedback below, and like/share/comment on social media, thanks everyone and thanks for reading!!