Everything you need to know before hiking to Trolltunga

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

It was 9 p.m. when we arrived in Skjeggedal, the trail head of Trolltunga, one of the world’s most breathtaking (literally!) hikes. As we start climbing up the rocky steps of the first kilometer, almost everyone coming down looked at us confusedly: “Why are you going up now?” I translated this to: “Are you crazy?! Why would you hike 6 hours through the night?” – because that had been the initial reaction of my friends after I told them about my idea.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

“Hike through the night to see the sunrise up there?”, they said. “Why would you do that? That’s gotta be dangerous! What if you get lost?” But simply because I don’t do things like everyone else and because I don’t like having tourists in my pictures or waiting in line for two hours to take a rushed photo, I wanted to hike through the night to catch the sunrise at 4 a.m. Plus, the lighting and the atmosphere are much more magical obviously.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

So here we were, as the only group hiking up the 11 km (7 miles) well-marked trail, only to be joined by an Australian couple much later. What I hadn’t planned for and thus didn’t expect was the full moon rising above the mountains. Lucky! We had planned for everything else however: Warm layers of clothes, lots of energy food and water, a cooking pot for Ramen and hot chocolate, raincoats, and head and flash lights. Surprisingly, we did not need the latter because it stayed quite bright throughout the night.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

Once we reached Trolltunga, we all were stunned by the beauty nature had created. Even the best photograph fails to project what you actually see when you’re up there. You’re surrounded by mountains partially covered in snow, and down below the deep blue water weaves through the valley. When it’s clear, you can see miles of land nearly untouched by man. A place which looks unlike anything else you’ve ever seen. You can’t help but ask yourself how someone thought of hiking the mountains in the middle of nowhere for six hours and discover the so called troll’s tongue.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

While getting there was not as rough as expected, our way back became super painful for me towards the end because I was wearing shoes that were too tight. With every step down, my toes hit the front of my shoes so hard, that it was better for me to take them off for the last 3 km. Out of pain and exhaustion, I couldn’t stop crying and had to lean on my friend for support. This took us at least two hours longer, but in the end, the troll’s tongue was more than worth it. It’s something you should do at least once in your life, and add to your bucket list right now!

To give you an idea about the hike, here are some tips:

1. Fly into Bergen and spend one or two full days there because it’s definitely worth it. Or fly into Oslo and take a bus/train/car from there.

Bergen

Bergen

 

2. From Bergen, there are busses to Odda, a town close to the trailhead of Trolltunga, which cost around 300 NK.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

The postcard-like town Odda.

 

3. Stay at least two nights in Odda or Tyssedal (I can recommend the Trolltunga Guesthouse in Tyssedal, where I had a great stay). In case it rains one day, you can choose to hike the next day. And if you hike the first day, you’re glad you can rest somewhere close right after the hike. You can also camp anywhere on the trail, even at the very top.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

Trolltunga Guesthouse

 

4. Pack the following: Warm layers of clothes (it can be sunny and nice at the bottom but windy and snowy towards the top), comfortable, waterproof shoes (you will cross a few waterfalls), one bottle of water (it’s safe to refill it at any one of the waterfalls), hiking sticks or a stick you find there (it’s much more comfortable to have some support), high energy and good carb foods such as nuts, cereal bars, berries, apples, or bananas, flashlight or head light, a beanie or headband to cover your ears (the wind can be icy), gloves, blister band-aids and tape (tape your toes and shoulders where your backpack straps are).

 

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

 

5. Plan in some more money for the transport from Odda or Tyssedal to the trailhead (our cab for four people from Tyssedal to Skjeggedal was 400 NOK and some busses are 50 NOK per person, for example. Prices can vary).
6. You can’t hike from October 16 until March 18; from March 19 until June 15 and September 15 until October 15 a guide has to assist you, so plan accordingly. Snow is very likely during shoulder season, and even in the summertime, you might encounter snow or snow fall.

everything you need to know about trolltunga hike

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7 comments

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  • Lisa

    Reply

    Gorgeous photos and sounds like an amazing experience!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Lisa 🙂 It sure was. If you haven’t done it – definitely something to add to the bucket list 🙂

  • Hi Jen, I have the following questions: How cold was it on top? Was it easy to get a cab from Tyssedal to the jump-off area when you arrive there in the evening? We are going there this coming July and your video has inspired me to climb right away instead of camping in Odda for the first night. Thus, we will be spending two nights on top of Trolltunga to have a better view the whole day and night and to avoid the crowd.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Hi Vic!
      Spending the night at the top is a great idea! Especially seeing the sunrise then is magical. And lucky you, you’ll get the sunset as well :)!
      As far as the cold goes – it was definitely below freezing at the top between 3 and 5 a.m. Don’t know if it gets much warmer during the day because there was still snow on top as well…
      A cab from Tyssedal will definitely be fairly easy to get because it’s where most people start at. Once you’re in Norway, I’d recommend calling a cab company and reserving a cab in advance – just to be on the safe side!
      I’m happy my video inspired you! I hope you’ll have the best time ever at Trolltunga 😀 Enjoy – it’s soooo incredible 🙂

  • Deepanjali

    Reply

    Hey.. its an amazing write up you had here.. and awesome tips.. i really need to ask u something.. i am overweight and havent been doing much of excercise, we go to Norway in early June and will be there at Trolltunga around 11-12th June.. few questions if you can assist please..

    1. Is it really really tough?? Will a person with sedentary/little activity lifestyle be able to do it?

    2. will i need a guide to accompany me even on 11-12th June??

    Would appreciate your advise.

    Thanks

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Hi Deepanjali,
      To answer your questions: The first 1.5 km are pretty rough. But I’m the type of person who always says “You can do anything you put your mind to.” So if you want to climb up that mountain, you’ll be able to. Don’t let your lifestyle get in the way. Also, it’s still a few weeks until you’re going to climb, so just start exercising and practicing! And pack lots of energy food. An apple will do wonders once you think you can’t go further anymore.
      2. It’s best to send an email to turistkontor@odda.kommune.no and ask them, as they have approximate dates and it’s always weather dependent. I think you will not need a guide, but I’m not 100% sure. So make sure to check with them. Or once you’re in Odda, there’s a tourist information and they can tell you as well.

      I wish you all the best for your hike! May you have a great adventure! Have lots of fun!!!

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