Preparation for our first holiday in Norway started by buying Jolanda Linschooten’s book. Here we found a lot of general information as well as descriptions of specific hikes. Initially we chose a six-day hike from Mogen to Kinsarvik, but on the internet it looked as if we wouldn’t be able to reach Mogen in one day from Oslo (due to the ferry departure times) and we chose to start in Haukeliseter instead. We ended up taking this route:
Haukeliseter – Hellevassbu – Litlos – Torehytten – Stavali – Kinsarvik.
In Kinsarvik we took a bus to Odda to hike to Trolltunga and back.
Further preparation: we bought some good maps and became members of DNT.
July 23: Oslo-Haukeliseter
July 24: Haukeliseter-Hellevassbu
July 25: Hellevassbu-Litlos
July 26: Litlos-Torehytten
July 27: Torehytten-Stavali
July 28: Stavali-Kinsarvik
July 29: Skjeggedal-Trolltunga
July 31 and August 1: Oslo
In case you´re wondering if you could hike Hardangervidda and if you would enjoy it, here are some things to consider:
- the waymarking is excellent. Red T’s everywhere. You still do need a good map, because if you do get lost, there won’t be anyone around and mobile coverage is almost non-existent. But if you stay on the marked paths, most of the time you will easily find your way. We went the wrong way twice, and quickly knew we had gone wrong, because if you haven’t seen a red T for 200 metres, you’re definitely off the track. But we had excellent weather conditions. When you’re walking in misty weather, finding your way is more difficult.
- you need to be reasonably fit, and prepare yourself for the fact that on parts of the terrain, walking isn’t easy, but mountain experience is not needed. We didn’t have any. We’re pretty fit runners and needed to get used to the Norwegian terrain, but after that things went smoothly. We met families with quite young children doing the same route.
- along the way you will hardly meet a soul. Even in peak season we never met more than 10 people, except when we were near Haukeliseter and Kinsarvik (places that can be reached by car).
- along the way there is no sign of civilization: no houses, roads, shops, electricity poles. Just nature.
- if you’re not in a so-called ‘lemming year’, you can drink the water from the lakes and rivers. This means you don’t need to carry large amounts of water with you, which is great.
- we had extremely good weather. This is certainly not always the case. Come prepared for heavy rain and cold wind, even in summer.
- bring watertight shoes. At times the Hardangervidda is one big swamp.
- now that I know that there is zero shelter and zero mobile phone coverage in between huts, next time I will carry a lightweight tent just in case
- you risk falling in love with the country.