Mount Skåla summit hike

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!  

Having a moment. I could see a little glimpse of Lovatnet down there between the mountains, and that very evening I would go fishing trouts for supper in it.skåla summit hike randonne fjelltur skålatårnet

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.

The view is super – I have absolutely no complaint! 😀

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 wallskålatårnet kloumanstårnet hiking randonee topptur summit hike DNT skålafjellet

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.topptur summit hike skala stryn skålatårnet fjord mountain norway travel landscape view on the edge

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!

Going down – fun and easy! Bring your randonee skis or sledding board for more speed… but I was happy with a running descend instead…skåla summit hike fjelltur topptur randonee fjord skålabu skålatårnet vandring hiking

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 😉

Travel info:

map kart skaala hike skalatarnet skalabu loen

Grivel ice axe isyxa

SOLD!

Säljer en oanvänd isyxa jag har för isklättring / alpinism – gå in och se min annons på Blocket – Nice price! 😉

I am selling an unused ice axe I have for ice climbing / mountaineering – take a look at my ad on Blocket – or contact me here.

Lite info:

SHAFT RESISTANCE 400kg, T-rated
MATERIAL Ni-Chro-Mo Steel
BLADE Classical Positive
WEIGHT 485g – 16,15 ozs
LENGTH 48cm-53cm-58cm-66cm

 

Norway Bike Hike (Part 2): Galdhøpiggen and Jotunheimen

So the bike tour continued to roll. I fully enjoyed this feeling of freedom with no obligations, no time to keep and no strict plan. I made a lot of stops, mostly because I was not able to shut down my always observing “photoeye” – everything is interesting! Just like during my warmup bikehike-tour to Åndalsnes and Romsdalseggen 

The hospitality I met most places was really a joy.. so welcoming and helpful people, but still not pushing. Most of the time I didn’t at all feel alone as most people are very curious about what you’re up to, especially when you are “solotripp’n” I believe, and as a solo traveller you will pretty soon connect with other solo travellers from all over the world – awesome!

Billingen in Skjåk: Did a morning stopover here and was served a supertasty local produced breakfast by the lovely owner – afterwards I went out to do a spontaneous “poem-track” upwards the frothing river Tora before I continued my bike ride – such a cool experience and some wise words richer! This is also a gateway into beautiful Breheimen Nationalpark and Reinheimen NationalparkNorway Billingen Tora foss Breheimen Nasjonalpark diktarstig Jan Magnus Bruheim skjak photo liss myrås

 

Along RV15 you will have a 360 degrees of magnificent landscape views … but by the time I passed Grotli Høyfjellshotell the traffic had increased with more heavy traffic, however, as long as the road could offer me a shoulder it worked very well (see tip below). And fortunately (with a few exceptions) most drivers DO make allowance for cyclists. After bargaining a night in a cosy cabin along the way to dry up my equipment, a lil’ morning trek and tasty breakfast stopover at Billingen, I continued towards Lom national park village in Bøverdalen and Jotunheimen

Reaching Lom I decided to stay a couple of nights. so I set up my tent pretty near the always roaring river Bøvra at a camp site – of course with a beautiful view to the surrounding mountains, but please bear in mind that you may need ear plugs if you want to sleep near this river  😉

After a massive burger & fries dinner together with a chilled cider I decided to take an evening walk to check out the famous Lom Stave Church for some historical inspiration and design admiration – dated back to the 12th century! Lom stavkirke stave church Norwegian attraction history oppland photo liss myrås

 

The very next day I actually had a lil’ plan – to climb Galdhøpiggen – the roof of Norway also the highest mountain in Scandinavia and Northern Europe at a hight of 2,469 m (8,100 ft) – we just call it Piggen in Norwegian.

The rising sun was promising and the morning bus brought a nice bunch of mountain hikers & climbers up the serpentine road and into the Jotunheimen National Park. Since we had to cross the glacier Styggebreen we needed harness and safety ropes, but otherwise this is a not a hard climb and suites most healthy people,families .. and dogs.

Packet with mountain lovers at the end of Styggebreen clacier: After an exceptionally grey summer the sun finally glitters and illicit hordes of people to enjoy this fun and beautiful day – not exactly a day for those who seeks silence and tranquility – but for a change I actually loved to be among all these smiling faces    Norway mountaineering Galdhøpiggen styggebreen juvasshytta jotunheimen photo Liss Myras

 

NOTE! On our way down we met two tourists not wearing any equipment crossing the glacier Styggebreen, and they did not care at all that a guide warned them. This annoys me a lot, as I see it as lack of respect for nature and to use common sense in the mountains. And what kind of signals does this send out to others? It is really cheap to join a guided tour with necessary equipment at Juvasshytta! (It will only cost you 175 NOK)

 

In our “rope lane” we were accompanied by this absolutely charming and adorable samoyed dog – very energetic and also very photogenic …and of course posing like a king on the roof of Norway! 🙂Galdhopiggen jotunheimen Norway mountain lom samoyed mountaineering photo liss myaas

 

This day was 1 of only 5 sunny days on Piggen during the whole summer a guy told us – so we where lucky! The Norwegian army paid us a flyby-visit at the top of Galdhøpiggen with one of their hercules ..to celebrate an awesome day. Many of us screamed when the air plane passed, it sure did look like it would crash right into the top hut ..ha…ha whohaaa!piggen herkules mountains

A flying view 

 

Back at the Juvasshytta we where a little bunch of very pleased people just sitting outside relaxing in the wonderful weather with some hot chocolate and candy, waiting for the experienced and kind bus driver to take us back down. I only have one important reminder/advice for days like this..to save you a lot of pain: PLEASE …bring your highest sun protection!

 

Morning glory trek somewhere in Skjåk before hitting the road ….Norway Oppland Skjak Nysætervattnet water landscape photo liss myrås

 

To be continued…..

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Some trip advice for travellers in Norway:

Travelling solo? Ask for a discount:

Now and then (especially if you’re bike touring) you want to rent a cabin to rearrange, fix and dry all your stuff (clothes, tent, sleeping bag, shoes etc) – mention that you travel alone and you may get a discount, very appreciated since renting cabins in Norway usually isn`t a cheap experience.

 

Local produced food, poems and national parks:

Billingen Seterpensjonat in Skjåk will serve you local produced products, breakfast and room. Also a gate to Breheimen Nasjonalpark, Reinheimen Nasjonalpark and the “Diktarstigen” where you can trek along the Tora river and read poems by Jan Magne Bruheim.  View their Facebook-page. 

 

Plenty of outdoor activities and adventures to do in Lom:

Make sure you spend enough time in the Lom (preferably at a decent price at one of the camping sites or Bøverdalen hostel if you’re on budget like me). There is so much to do in this area both for sports and mountain lovers or nature seekers that 2 days are far from enough…try out zip-lining across Prestefossen, climb a bunch of 2000-meter mountains, go into the ice world at the Climate Park (Klimaparken) or visit Norsk Fjellmusem.

 

Along road 63 and RV15 from Djupvasshytta to Lom you have 3 great national parks around (Right before you enter the RV15 from63 you can choose to take off and bike most of this stretch on a parallel road with much less traffic! – unfortunately I am not sure about conditions for this “cabins road”)

Jotunheimen Nasjonalpark

Reinheimen Nationalpark

Breheimen Nationalpark

 

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Map of Part 2 from Djupvasshytta to Lom + the 3 surrounding national parks

Norway bike map djupvasshytta lom bicicyle tour part 2 breheimen jotunheimen reinheimen liss myras