By STELIOS DARAKIS
Hiking To Trolltunga...
General Information About The Hike
There are some places in the world, that when you first see them in a photo on the internet, you would do everything to be there! Trolltunga or the Troll’s tongue as it translates, is clearly one of them! One of Norway’s most popular hikes and certainly one of the most exciting landscapes you will see across the country.
The scenery throughout the journey and especially at the end, where you can see the rock, that looks like a tongue and is located 700 meters above Lake Ringedalsvatnet, is something that will leave you speechless and will compensate you for the enormous effort you have to pay to complete this hike. Below we provide some very general information for the hike, before discussing it with more details.
Duration: 10-13 Hours
Distance: 24 Km
Elevation: 1150 m
When to go: June – September
“One of Norway’s most popular hikes and certainly one of the most exciting landscapes you will see across the country.”
Before You Start...
Surely anyone who sees a photo from this place, wants to be here and enjoy this amazingly beautiful landscape, but is Trolltunga a hike that anyone can do? The answer is sadly no. This hike requires a great physical condition, experience from previous hikes of shorter duration and difficulty, and of course very good organization before you start.
So what do you need for this extremely difficult 12 hours or more hike?
Waterproof hiking shoes (preferably boots)
Food and water, enough for 12-14 hours for everyone.
Photo equipment (gopro – camera – mobile phone)
Appropriate navigation app for hiking (Komoot)
First aid kit
Apparently before you start your hike to Trolltunga you must have been informed the day before about the weather conditions in the area and according to that, decide whether you should start your hike or not. Even if you can withstand the cold and rain, trust us, is very bad after so much effort, not be able to see this amazing landscape due to weather conditions.
Let's Do It!!!
Once you have decided it and you have been well prepared for what you will encounter and got all of the above, then you are ready for the big challenge.
How do you get to the starting point?
The most important thing is initially to start your hike very early in the morning for many reasons. The first reason is to avoid the huge queues for a photo on the rock. We saw people waiting 3 hours for a photo! Fortunately, we started at 5 o’clock and we only had to wait 30 minutes for our photos. Our suggestion is to start your hike at 6 am the latest, where there are only few people to avoid the hassle. From 8 am and later we believe it’s a very bad idea to start your hike, as you have also12-13 hours of strenuous effort in front of you…
The hike to Trolltunga starts from the parking in Skjeggedal, where you can park your car for as long as your hike takes. The price is 500 NOK and you can pay in the automatic pay stations in the parking area before you start.
The second option is the second newly opened parking lot that will save you about 2 hours of hiking and 400 meters of hard climb with a 17% incline. If you plan to go there with your own car, then do not think about it and choose the second parking lot. It will cost you just 100 NOK more than the first one, but you will thank us later for this suggestion…
Well Begun Is Half Done... Or Maybe Not
Platon had said that the beginning is half of everything, and in the case of Trolltunga, this phrase fits perfectly. Undoubtedly, the first part of the hike is surely the most difficult, due to the hard climb, about 800 meters in the first two hours with a maximum 27% incline, about 1:30 minutes after the starting point. So, if you complete the first 2-2.5 hours of the hike, then you have a good chance to complete the Trolltunga hike.
Of course after the first two very difficult hours, follow three hours of strenuous hike to the final destination, which do not have the same difficulty as the ascent in the beginning, but they are equally demanding due to the ground morphology. During the hike we found in many places a lot of snow, which made it much more difficult and of course more tiring. We will remind you that we did our hike in the middle of June and if you choose this period also you will probably find a lot of snow too.
This Hike Is No Joke!
Without wanting to prevent you from doing this incredible hike, although we must inform you that it is certainly not easy. The duration is very long and the fatigue is huge. During the hike, there will be definitely moments that you will want to give up, but all you need is a short break for a snack and some rest, admiring the amazing scenery. You must be patient until you reach the final destination which will be be truly unforgettable … Take your time, take as many breaks you need, to accomplish your goal.
After the first half of the hike, about 2.5-3 hours after the beginning, the scenery becomes truly magical! Somewhere there you will have the first eye contact with Lake Ringedalsvatnet, which you will surely love. Try to continue your hike without wasting time taking many photos, something which is really very difficult! The only reason is to avoid the queues on the Trolltunga rock. As time passes, you will notice that the number of people following you, constantly increasing and certainly the waiting line for the photos in the final destination getting bigger. During your return, you will have enough time to take some amazing photos without stress.
We Made It!!!
After about 4 hours at a fairly quick pace and a few breaks, finally Trolltunga rock appeared in front of us! It’s one of those moments that you want to describe what you see, but you do not find the words to do it properly and just try to capture the moment with photos and videos. It’s really impossible for places like Trolltunga!
Once you have your desired photos on the rock, the best thing to do is to find a quiet spot, overlooking the rock and the lake and enjoy one of the most beautiful meals of your life! After this exhausting hike, you definitely need rest because the return will be quite painful. The ideal duration time for us for the Trolltunga hike is about 12 hours in total (4 hours ascend, 4 hours rest, enjoying the Trolltunga scenery and 4 hours descent).
” It’s one of those moments that you want to describe what you see, but you do not find the words to do it properly and just try to capture the moment with photos and videos.”
Once we had managed to accomplish another thing from our bucket list, it was time for the return with another 12 exhausting kilometers waiting for us. I dare to say that it was one of the toughest things we have done so far and from the first steps, we realized that it will take a lot of effort to complete it. I remember the signs on the way, in the middle of nowhere, with our energy levels low, and the kilometers to seem really endless. 10 km, 9 km, 8 km … the distance was so long and every meter we walked was even more stressful with the sun literally burning us for 12 hours!
After too many breaks for rest and some snacks, we were approaching the end of the hiking path near the second parking lot that we mentioned above. At this moment we understood how important was to leave our car in this parking lot and not in the first one, as we had to walk another 4 km to the car. Definitely these 4 km were the toughest of our lives so far and we will never forget the feeling when we finally reached our car!