This is part three of the journey to Trolltunga blog posts. You can read the earlier parts by clicking the links below:
Part one: Hitchhiking to the edge of the world. A multi-day hitch across Norway with four people.
Part two: Hiking to the edge of the world. An 11km uphill hike with banana poisoning.
Trolltunga image gallery. Eye candy!
Have you ever stood upon the edge of a high drop, looking down, and felt tempted to jump off?
I have felt this many times. But not at Trolltunga. Instead, I shuffled along on my hands and knees so that I could reach the edge and look down at the lake, seven hundred metres below. My body immediately reeled at the sight and my mind was shouting at me to get off the precarious rock – even though I knew it had stood for thousands of years and was perfectly safe.
Our original plan had been to turn around on the day we arrived and hike back down. But the mountain air had us. We decided that we would sleep upon the mountain. [In all fairness, Scotty was still suffering from banana poisoning and would have slept pretty much anywhere.]
The question now arose – where do we sleep when we have three people, two sleeping bags, and a distinct lack of clothing? Trolltunga was exposed and our little picnic spot, although offering stunning views, was similarly unprotected. None of us fancied freezing through the night if we could help it.
We walked away from the cliff and soon found, to our delight, a cabin, fully equipped with bunk beds and a kitchen. It was absolutely perfect, more than we could have possibly hoped to have found and it even had an outdoor toilet nearby. Except that it wasn’t perfect. Once we were inside, we read the sign by the door – it was available to use for £30 a night per bed.
All three of us were volunteers at the farm and all of us were travelling on a very light (or non existent) budget. Splashing out £30 for a single night’s accommodation was not an option. In fact, in my whole month in Norway (arguably the most expensive country in the world), I spent less than £50 in total – and most of that was at the airport when I was leaving because I got locked out and had to spend the night drinking hot chocolate and eating paninis to get through the freezing night. No, we would have to spend the night outside for free.
But the cabin with its eight empty beds was so very tempting. While I am happy to take food for free that is being wasted, or sleep outside without paying, I have never stolen anything. And I never would, unless it was absolute desperation – a matter of survival. It was my choice to hitchhike and volunteer and live my life in this unorthodox way with little money and while the cabin was tempting, it was a facility that was offered on an honesty basis and in my mind, it would have been stealing to use it.
Instead, we found a relatively dry and flat area, and decided that it would be our bed for the night. Fortunately, our newly acquired German friend decided to camp out with us for the night and he had a tent. A single man tent, but he also had some warmer clothes. We made a little camp with one hell of a view – the cabin tempting us in the distance – and then tried to light a fire for warmth. It was not warm.
Two of us slept in the thin sleeping bags outside the tent, two inside the one man tent with one sleeping bag and jumpers. It was a horribly cold night through which we shivered and shook, but we awoke at dawn (after multiple wakings through the night) with our moral integrity intact.
One of the few things I had carried up to Trolltunga was a draft copy of my book, The Boy Who Was Afraid of the World. There I was the next morning, ironically holding a book about being scared and going on an adventure on top of a rather scary rock.
However, the cold night was worth it for the views we had that next morning and best of all, we had them all to ourselves. So much to ourselves, that you could get naked and no one would care…
We walked back down, swam again, and whizzed back across the country in a single day without problems. This was our little hitchhiking road trip to the edge of the world and I loved it.
You can also take a look at the best images of Trolltunga (without all the boring words) by clicking here.
Wow, that is such an incredible experience. I don’t think I’d be able to do it though, I’m too terrified of heights, such as shame it looks wonderful!
Also Amazing photos!
These photos are stunning and the hike truly does look magnificent!
I’ve enjoyed your blog for some time and I really do find your journeys inspiring. However, in reading the rendition of this hike to Trolltunga, I’m somewhat concerned about a few things (which you do admit yourself). I am no professional, just another 20 something traveling as far and as often as I can.
Spontaneity is admirable, in my book. A little danger is always exhilarating too. However, I couldn’t imagine arriving to hike somewhere without looking up the trail and facts. Even in college when my friends and I would go hiking on local trails, we packed our supplies based on the duration and difficulty of the climb. It’s hiking 101. I’m a positive person, but it’s always smart to be an equipped person and that means being prepared for many scenarios.
You mentioned that you did not research the hike to Trolltunga so you were surprised by the difficulty. Then, you were separated from two of your friends. Along the course of a 10km hike in the Norwegian wilderness. The one you did find, had food poisoning and no supplies what so ever. He had little water and had vomited several times…therefore becoming even more dehydrated–I’m logically assuming. Based on your rendition, it almost seems like he could have easily collapsed along the trail and would not have been discovered for hours.
Your other friend, the American girl never showed up. So it seems that you all just continued on without her? Weren’t you concerned about her whereabouts in such an isolated place?
My intention is not to ask these questions in judgment, I would just like some clarification. Call me naturally curious.
Hi Alex. When we set off, we were mostly interested in a hitchhiking adventure and had a list of three places that we were aiming for. From my many months of hitchhiking and no planning, I presumed it would be the same, but we had no idea of the hike to the rock. We thought it was by the road, but the hike was amazing and I am glad that it was there. As for equipment, we were very underprepared and took only what we could. It was the hottest summer in Norway for decades and we played on our good fortune in this respect. However, the split in our group was a mistake and made more difficult by the fact that we didn’t have phones. We didn’t all meet up again until we got back to the farm a few hundred miles away. Scotty’s choice to hike in jeans without food or warm clothing is what I would call a major – I still tease him about it today. Luckily everything turned out OK. This was one of my first hikes and since this time, I have better prepared myself. When walking across Iceland and through Snowdonia recently, I had pretty much everything I needed. Almost!
Hey Jamie. Thanks for clearing all that up, it does sound like quite the nordic adventure!!
I can see now how I may have taken the same actions. The weather has been especially unpredictable in the past few years.
I’m happy it all worked out for you and your friends. I hope to have an adventure of my own to Trolltunga one day!
Blue skies ahead,
That must have been quite the adrenal rush! It’s always scary looking down from the edge of a cliff, especially one that high. Safe to say, we’ve never felt that urge to jump off, haha. We also have to say that this place is absolutely gorgeous!