Friday, 28 September 2012

Hiking trip - Part 2

 Conquering Trolltunga

Now for one of the most extreme and challenging experiences on this trip, and as well in my life: the trip to Trolltunga. It is a characteristic rock formation sticking out from a mountain above lake Ringedalsvatnet near Skjeggedal, and it's name means "Troll's tongue" in Norwegian. As we heard that the trip was very long and demanding before, we decided to do this on the first day of our adventurous week, and it was a very good decision, because the trip was even harder than we first imagined.

A few details:

1100 m above sea level
700 m above the lake underneath
Ascent is roughly 1000 m
takes 8 to 10 hours completely to get there and come back

And now for some impressions of this breathtaking journey, that can unfortunately only catch half of the experience and atmosphere:

Start of the tour at the parking lot and "basecamp": this was a fully functional trolley car route, but it was closed down some years ago... so one has to use the little steps on the right. You can already recognize the steepness of the ascent!

Walking up the steps, you can turn around and suck in the fantastic view!! Umbrellas are generally not recommended, though ;)

After mastering this first section, you arrive at a plateau full of small lakes and huts like this one... notice again the variety of landscape! Mountains covered with green forests before, now a high plain with lakes, rocks and small bushes and grass

Another impression of this second area on the way

The huts are usually private, but I think some of them can be booked to stay overnight...

Next section... a desert of rocks and water. In the background you can see the snow-covered top of the other side of the fjord! In this area, you are often simply "rock-hopping" to not get your feet wet, because water is flowing everywhere! Especially when it rains, like in our case

Fantastic view from the last section, which is another plateau even higher, featuring tundra-like vegetation, and surprise... MORE ROCKS! The view kills you, though, breathtaking...

Finally, after 5 hours of harsh hiking, we arrived!!! This is the place! As you can see, rather foggy, and what can not be transported through pictures is the force of the wind around there... you have to be really careful, because it is freezing cold and so strong that it can easily push you around..

Some people walking onto Trolltunga... notice how the fog has become even thicker in the course of just some MINUTES!!!

But patience gets (as almost always) rewarded: Another few minutes, and the fog finally clears and opens up for the real deal... spectacular view!!!

This is the last section before reaching Trolltunga, or the first when departing from there on the way back... an icy plateau featuring snow, ice and water, and really cold, sudden winds

But there's a freakin' dam here at this heights... Norway wtf?!

A last look back... this is shot from the tundra-like plateau, Trolltunga lies behind the mountains you see on the left side of the picture

Finally, we arrived back at the trolley-line... a last spectacular shot before descending on the amazingly steep steps

And this I thought was worth a picture as well... a nice lake, shot from the steps of the trolley-line

Needless to say that body and mind were totally wrecked when we arrived down at the car, just shortly (and luckily) before sunset. The whole trip took us almost 11 hours, and I felt the demanding hike in every single muscle and bone of my body...

Gladly, the trip that was planned for the next day was much more comfortable, and had a totally different style of hiking... up next: Buarbreen, the third biggest glacier in Norway!!

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