A fjord to summit hike doesn’t get better than this – here you will hike (or run) the longest uphill in Norway! From a sunny, hot and blue-green fjord landscape up to ice-cold wind, deep snow, fog and spectacular views over peaks and glaciers.
Hiking up to 1 848 meters altitude early in June sure is both varied and a challenge in deep soft snow and wind! Just be well prepared and don’t underestimate this hike – and you will do fine!
And such a lovely reward to stay over in the new and modern Skålabu top cabin spaceship, gathering together with other hikers by that warming wood burning stove, play Yatzy and have a cup of hot chocolate ..or two.. or three.. while the wind howling outside the cabin walls…
This would also be my last bicycle trip into Loen from Oppstryn. After a night in my tiny tent I packet my backpack next morning and left the tent and bicycle at the camp site to hike up to Skåla for an overnight stop in the top hut. This famous mountain hike has been on my really-want-to-do list for a while, so I was now looking forward to a steeper hike this time.
NOTE! I knew it would be a steep and tough hike in snow further up as it was still early in June., but not everyone had checked the weather conditions and summit in sneakers and thin clothing! …soaked, frozen feet and a somehow spoiled hike for somebody that is! So do your self a favour and check the conditions before you go!
Up to about 1 000 meters the trail was pretty easy to hike along Fosdøla river, it was hot and the bugs was biting.. but after crossing the bridge the snow cover gradually increased. I passed two resting women when I started on the snow part, and from here I looked upwards at the steep snow-covered mountain sides and could sense that ice-cold wind, and I just knew that I if I wanted to get up all the way I had to just continue without any sit-down breaks, if else I would quickly go from sweating to start freezing as the chilly wind came straight down the mountain sides further up.
So, I found some tracks from a big guy’s hiking shoes that I tried to step into and use as “stairs” as I really didn’t want to sink in that deep soft snow, that would make the ascent so much harder.
About half way up in the snow hills I only stopped to eat a cinnamon-lefse while standing, and continued the last part over a couple of “luretopper” (when you think you are almost there, but oh so far away) ..ha..ha.
The old and fashionable Skålatårnet built in 1891 (Kloumanstårnet), still in use, and still surrounded by some snow as you can see … in this two-storey tower hut you will sleep in a semicircular bed system, well protected from mountain blizzards inside a more than 1 meter thick brick wall
Finally I reached the top plateau. The fog was starting to thicken so it was a welcoming sight to finally see the old and beautiful Skålatårnet and DNT’s brand new mountain cabin spaceship Skålabu (see link further down for info). Both the cabins offer self-service, and you can pay later for both lodge and supplies. (As a DNT-member you pay less.)
At the edge outside Skålatårnet cabin tower.. .don’t go to close to the edge here, the hanging snowdrifts are melting and not at all to be trusted. Beneath them there is a vertical rock face faaaaar down.
The new top cabin Skålabu is comfortable and modern with “inhouse toilets” (you don’t have to go outdoor in shitty weather) but still very cosy with large panoramic windows towards magnificent views, but just not this evening when the weather turned in to grey, foggy and windy blur. But guess what, that very next morning the wind was silent and the sun shining!
I met som very nice people in the cabin, we fired up the wood burning stove so we could hang up our wet’n sweaty stuff to dry, and the assorted supplies room was visited frequent that cosy evening – more hot chocolate for me please!
We where only 6 people sleeping over that night, so I got that whole upper floor to myself! Oh how I just looove to just lie there in the dark listening to the whining wind outside. Didn’t want to fall asleep, but sure did.
Skålabu views – like a spaceship has landed on the summit :)We all steamed out the get some sunny picture that morning – just in case the weather gods changed their minds – oh such a beautiful refreshing morning on snow crust! I had a looong cosy breakfast with great views before leaving the cabin, no hurry!
The hike downwards again became fun indeed. I discovered that it was easier for me to just run down the mountain side in that deep snow, so I tightened my backpack a bit more and ran from about 1 800 to 1 000 meters in no time ..only interrupted by a quick chat with som happy randonee-guys on their way up for a ride down…
I still had the evening disposal before bicycling back to Oppstryn next morning, so I grabbed my lil’ simple telescope fishing rod and went fishing in the Lovatnet lake. It is free to fish in this lake, with lots of fish in it (lots of small ones too), . so you don’t need to buy any fishing licence at all for this lake. This is possible thank’s to a “Dutch treat” by the local accommodation providers in the are.
I got a little trout for supper, and lost one.. .. but the tenting-guy further away from me didn’t get anything at all with his advanced fishing equipment .. me – veryvery – bad – smiling 😉
- Map and further information for hiking up to DNTs Skålabu and Skålatårnet (both self-service cabins)
- Sande Camping (if you need to rent a fishing rod/fishing boat)
- Tjugen Camping (very close to trail starting point up to Skåla)
- Want to run up Skåla in summer conditions? Join Skåla Opp/Skaal Uphill!