Thursday, September 22, 2016
Hike to Galdhøpiggen Summit (Norway Part Nine)
After several days of paddling and camping in the fjords we headed North into Jotunheimen National Park, the highest mountain region in Norway. The drive here was spectacular and felt like something you should not be able to reach by such easy means as a paved road. We spent one night at the Elveseter Hotel before the big climb up Norway's tallest peak, Galdhøpiggen.
Galdhøpiggen is 2469 meters above sea level, but you can drive up to the ski area at 1850 meters so the climb is not bad. We set out in dense fog and the forecast called for thunderstorms. I worried we wouldn't be able to see anything at the top after all that work (or that I would be struck by lightning and die), but we got some blue skies to keep our spirits up and the storm held out.
Part of this climb requires roping up to cross a glacier which added to the sense of adventure. There were also a lot of boulders and some slippery snowfields. While overall the hike was not as challenging as others we had done on this trip, it was still not exactly easy.
We were one of the first groups out that morning and got the summit mostly to ourselves. On the way down we could see groups like marching ants working there way up. It got very crowded and I was so happy that we had beat the crowds at the top.
This was one of the highlights of our trip. The view was beautiful and we had a blast conquering the tallest peak in Norway!