Norwegian Mountains and Winter Activities

Norway is full of mountains. We go skiing in the winter, and walk in the mountains when there is no snow. Walking from cottage to cottage in summer is very popular, but there are also famous routes you can walk in one day. The most famous are perhaps ‘Besseggen’ and ‘Preikestolen’. 

In the winter people drive up to ski resorts for alpine skiing.  If you are lucky to have your own cabin you visit this regularly for skiing in the winter, or for walks in the summer.

Silver Mines Tour, Kongsberg, September 2021

Kongsberg silver mines constituted the largest mining field in Norway. Silver was first discovered between the 1 July and 5 July 1623. It was the largest pre-industrial working place in Norway, with over 4,000 workers at its peak in the 1770s, and was in operation from 1623 until 1958. Total production exceeded 1.3 million kg silver.

Visitors can board the mining train which takes them through the 2,300 meters into King’s Mine. The bottom of the mine is 1,070 meters below the surface, which corresponds to 560 meters below sea level. On our special tour we continued 1,300 meters into the “Gottes Hülfe in der Noth” mine. Some 40,000 visit the museum annually. 

Walking up to Gaustatoppen, August 2021

Mount Gausta rises majestically over Rjukan in Telemark with its 1883 meters over sea level. The top is easily accessible and easily climbed, but despite this, offers southern Norway`s longest view. On a clear day you can see approximately one sixth of Norway. 

The summit is accessible on foot in the summer starting from Stavsro, on a rocky 4.5 kilometers pathway of medium difficulty. The walk up to Gaustatoppen Tourist Cabin at 1850 meters, 750 meters higher, takes about 2-3 hours. From there you can continue up to the 60 meter high radio tower at 1870 meters near the mountain’s summit.

Walking Across Gaustatoppen, August 2021

From the radio tower you can follow a marked “path”  about 500 meters across the narrow edge across boulders to the highest point at 1883 meters. A few places you may need to climb. It is a difficult walk, and people scared of heights should not even try.

You will wonder why there are so many large rocks and boulders at the top instead of the more flat surface seen on other tops. The explanaition is that this old seabed was never covered by ice during the ice age. Later the rock cracked because of water freezing in cracks and blasting it into the more or less square pieces that litters the summit.

Down inside Gaustatoppen, August 2021

There is a funicular railway inside the mountain, built for military purposes. This ascends from the base of the mountain almost to the summit. A short railway takes the passengers from the mountain base horizontally to the lower station deep inside the mountain. It was built to access the military radio relay station built at and inside the mountain top. The installation is now a tourist attraction.

Instead of walking back down to my car I chose to try the funicular.

Krossobanen Cable Car, Rjukan, August 2021

Krossobanen is an aerial tramway in Rjukan, Norway, and was the first of its kind in Northern Europe. It was built in 1928 by Bleichert as a gift from Norsk Hydro to the people of Rjukan (most of them Hydro employees), offering them a view of the sun which is obscured by the Gauta mountain during the winter months from October to March.

The horizontal distance between the lower and the upper station is 814 meters and the difference in altitude is 498 meters, which yields an average incline of 0.6:1 (in other words, it climbs 60 centimeters for each meter traveled).

Nigardsbreen Glacier, July 2021

Nigardsbreen is  is a glacier arm of the large Jostedalsbreen glacier.

Nigardsbreen lies about 30 km north of the village of Gaupne in the Jostedalen valley in Luster Municipality. It is located just west of the Jostedøla river.

The Breheimsenteret museum is located 11 km south in the village of Jostedal. In front of the Nigardsbreen is the lake Nigardsbrevatnet where there is a small boat to transport visitors to the glacier. There is also a bus to take visitors to the glacier.

To get up to the glacier, I had to book a glacier tour.

Briksdalsbreen Glacier, July 2021

Briksdalsbreen is one of the most accessible and best known arms of the Jostedalsbreen glacier, located in the municipality of Stryn, about 25 kilometres from the village of Olden. The glacier terminates in a small glacial lake, Briksdalsbrevatnet, 346 meters above sea level.

Since it was not possible to walk up to the glacier, I climbed up a steep slope overlooking the lake to take photos. I stayed overnight in the village of  Innvik down by Nordfjorden.

Hiking up to Sturinibba. Loen, July 2021

From Loen you can take the Skylift up to Hoven at 1000 meters above sea level. From there you can walk ‘sherpa-paths’ up to several mountain tops. I walked up to Staurinibba at 1379 meters. From there you have a fantastic 360 degrees view of the surrounding fjords and mountains – and arms of the Jostedalsbreen glacier.

On my way back down I had lunch at the Hoven restaurant before taking the Skylift down to Loen, and driving to my hotel in Innvik.

Romsdaleggen, Åndalsnes, July 2021

Romsdalseggen is a 10 km long mountain ridge accessible from Åndalsnes in Møre og Romsdal municipality. The easiest way to get there is to take the new Skylift gondola lift from Åndalsnes up to Eggen restaurant at 715 meters. From there you can follow marked paths up the ridge to Blånebba at 1320 meters. I stopped at Åkesvarden at 1140 meters. At the narrowest part the path across the ridge is about 1 meter wide.

Besseggen, August 2020

Besseggen is one of Norway´s most famous mountain walks. Thousands of people walk this route every summer. You can start from Memurebu or from Gjendesheim. People starting from Memurebu usually take a boat from Gjendesheim. If you start from Gjendesheim as I did you walk/climb down the steep edge.

This video was recorded while walking – also down steeper parts of the edge. I used a Sony RX100V on a gimbal stabiliser, and a Sony RX100VII for the long zooms from below.

Hiking at Storefjell, July 2020

Storefjell is a mountain area between the valleys of Hallingdal and Valdres, with easiest access from the town of Gol.

I stayed at the Storefjell Resort Hotel, and walked in the mountain plateau nearby.

Preikestolen, October 2010

In connection with a company weekend teambuiling we walked up to the famous Preikestolen cliff. 

To reach this area you can fly to Stavanger og the West coast, and drive from there. You have to take a ferry across a fjord, which is a nice break. Then up to the parking lot where you start climbing.

Rounding the last bend and walking to the edge gives you a breathtaking view of the fjord below.

Skiing from Sollihøgda, February 2010

Some of my foreign friends have never seen snow. On request I uploaded this small video that I recorded with a small compact camera in 2010. The route from Sollihøgda to Sørsetra and back is about 15 kilometers. This winter day was especially nice, with lots of sunshine and temperatures not more than minus 5-7 degrees Celsius. 

It is not possible to film with a small compact camera while walking with ski-poles, so the scenes you see are from gliding down slopes. 

Snowscooter and 4-wheeler competition, January 2005

During a weekend with a work related team-building in Geilo, we had several activities to choose from. I was our official video photographer so I did not participate, but I were present with my camera.

During the snowscooter competition I wanted to film from the track. I asked if I could sit as a passenger looking backwards. OK, but good luck they said. I almost regretted doing this because I spent most of the time trying not to fall off. Driving a snowscooter is fun, but being a passenger is not so fun – especially sitting the wrong way. As you can see I got a few minutes of shaky video.

Skiwax course with Bjørn Dæli, January 2005

During a weekend with work related team-building in Geilo, we were lucky to get instruction for applying ski wax from the famous Norwegian cross-country skier Bjørn Dæli (speaking Norwegian).