I`m hiking Norway lengthwise. There is a name for it – “Norge på langs” – shortened NPL, and there is a website which gives you the statistics, but there is no fixed route, no official way to do it and no marked trail to follow. Thru-hikers must line up their own course and walk their own path.
This is my route from North Cape to Lindesnes, the way I`ve planned it on beforehand. 3000 km of tramping and four and a half months in the wild.
And these were my wishes and concerns:
1: Go for the wilderness. Choose the mountain paths before the urban streets, and pick the open widths before metropolitan concrete. But marked trails are welcome; the red-letter T`s are friendly guides through the outback.
2: Summer or winter? About one-third of the thru-hikings are done at winter time. Then the onsets are almost invariably in January, and the route is from Lindesnes to North Cape, rarely the other way around. I am a skier and I do cross-country skiing in the mountains, and the thought of skiing my way through the country, maybe with the help of a sled dog, is very tempting. But the stakes are far higher at winter time. The consequences of blizzards, white-outs and avalanches could be fatal. You should really know what you are doing if you are planning a winter expedition, and as for me, I`m not there yet. I would also never do a winter thru alone. So, for now, I will do the summer hike.
3: From north to south or reverse? For me, there was never a question; I`m a south-bound tramper. Then I`m on my way home!
4: Where is the information?
I began with the maps:
Kartverket.no (Norway), Exursionmap.fi (Finland) and Lantmateriet (Sweden) are the gold standards which allows you to print your 1:50 000 maps for free. (Thank you Danuta for introducing me to Lantmateriet!)
For planning and overview, I used UT.no. This is an excellent site from DNT – the Norwegian trekking association – were the T-marked routes are shown as red lines on the map.
And I read blogs. Norgepaalangs.info is a classic, where most of the hikes done are listed.
Myownscared.com is a funny and well-written blog in English. Tinelarsen.org was the one that I found most helpful, and norwayendtoend.com is about the British couple Conrad and Hilary who were skiing halfway through, but then, unfortunately, had to give up. Very readable, and gives you an understanding of how difficult the conditions can be when the snow is melting.
5: Lining up the course: Should I hike only in Norway? Maybe that would be the purest thing to do? Or what about a touch of Finland and Sweden? Padlejanta National Park in Sweden is part of the UNESCO world heritage list – that`s almost too good to miss! And in the south of Norway, should I go for Dovrefjell or Rondane, Ryfylkeheiane or Austheiane? I couldn`t have it all, and ever so often I found that when I decided on one thing, I had to give up another.
At the end, I settled on the E1 path for the first three months, all the way to Røros. This is a long distance marked hiking trail from North Cape to Sicily in Italy (!), with each leg thoroughly described.
From Røros to Lindesnes I singled out Rondane, Jotunheimen, Skarvheimen, Hardangervidda and Austheiane as my “must do`s”. The criteria are wilderness and regions that I usually don`t trek. As I live in Sandnes, close to Ryfylkeheiene, those are left behind this time.
6: What about food? I`ve chosen a route where the supermarkets are scattered, but I still wanted to keep the weight down of my rucksack. Should I rely on fishing? Sure I will bring my fishing rod, but it would be very optimistic to trust nature too much. So I could either buy food supplies at the local grocery store or collect food drops at general delivery? I decided on both – either way, I have to carry food for 14 days at some of the most remote stretches.
So here`s my route from North Cape to Lindesnes, the way I`ve planned it on beforehand:
Day 1: Knivskjellodden – North Cape 15 km (Knivskjellodden is actually further north than North Cape, but not as spectacular… Of course I have to start from the northernmost point!)
I carry food for 7 days.
Day 2: Nordkapp – Skarsvågkrysset 13 km
Day 3: Skarsvågkrysset – Vesterpollen (south side of the North Cape tunnel) (26 km, whereof the tunnel is about 7 km)
Day 4: Vesterpollen – Vardancohka 25 km
Day 5: Vardancohka – Stohpojohka, 26 km
Day 6: Stohpojohka – Russenes, ca 25 km. Resupply box with food for 8 days at Russenes local grocery store
Day 7: ZERO Maybe stay at Olderfjorden Hotell?
Day 8: Olderfjorden – Hattir Øst – Duolbajarcopma, about 35 km
Day 9: Duolbajarcopma – Bastingammen, 23 km
Day 10: Bastingammen – Rukkujavri, 24 km
Day 11: Ruhkkojavri – Bojobeaskihytta (hytta = cabin), 21 km
Day 12: Bojobeaskihytta – Mollesjohka Fjellstue, 32 km
Day 13: Mollesjohka Fjellstue – Ragesluoppal, 17 km
Day 14: Ragesluoppal – Masi/Maze, 26 km Resupply box with food for 3 days at Maze local grocery store
Day 15: Masi – Biggejavri, 20 km
Day: 16: Biggejavri – Mierojavri, 27 km
Day 17: Mierojavri – Kautokeino, 18 km Resupply box with food for 8 days at the reception at Thon Hotel (I`ve booked in advance and they know about my resupply box)
Day 18: ZERO at Thon Hotell Kautokeino
Day 19: Kautokeino – Cunovuohopi (Madam Bongos Fjellstue), 18 km
Day 20: Cunovuohppi – Reisavannhytta, 30 km
Day 21: Reisavannhytta – Nedrefosshytta, 30 km
Day 22: Nedrefosshytta – Saraelv, 28 km
Day 23: Saraelv – Somashytta, 31 km
Day 24: Somashytta – Kopmajoki, 3 km Finland: Kopmajoki – Pitsusjärvi, 12,5 km + Pihtsusjärvi – Meekonjärvi, 10 km
Day 26: Kilpisjärvi – Treriksrøysa (The three-country cairn where Norway, Finland, and Sweden meet) – Goldahytta, 15 km + Goldahytta – Gappohytta, 13 km
Day 27: Gappohytta – Rostahytta, 20 km
Day 28: Rostahytta- Dærtahytta, 17 km
Day 29: Dærtahytta – Dividalshytta, 24 km
Day 30: Dividalshytta – Vuomahytta, 18 km
Day 31: Vuomahytta – Gaskashytta, 17 km
Day 32: Gaskashytta – Altevasshytta, 12 km
Day 33: Altevasshytta – Lappjordhytta, 24 km
Day 34: Lappjordhytta – STF Abisko Mountain Station 24 km Sweden Resupply box with food for 14 days at the Mountain Station.
Maps from Sweden are downloaded from Lantmateriet
Day 35: ZERO at Abisko Mountain Station
Day 36: Abisko Mountain Station – Abiskojaurestugan, 15 km
Day 37: Abiskojaurestugan – Unna Allakas, 24 km
Day 38: Unna Allakas – Cunojavri, 5 km (Norway) – Càihnavàggihytta, 16 km
Day 39: Caihnavaggihytta – Gautelishytta, 15 km – Skoaddejavrehytta, 17 km
Day 40: Skoaddejavrehytta – Sitashytta, 20 km
Day 41: Sitashytta – Paurohytta, 22,5 km
Day 42: Paurohytta – Røysvatn, 25 km
Day 43 and 44: Røysvatn –(Sweden) Vaisaluokta , 54 km
Day 45: Vaisaluokta – Kutjaurestugan, 15 km
Day 46: Kutjaurestugan – Låddejåkkåstugan, 18 km
Day 47: Låddejåkkåstugan – Arasluoktastugorna, 13 km
Day 48: Staloluoktastugorna – Staddajåhkå, 12 km – Sårjesjaurestugan, 6 km – Sorjushytta, 11,5 km
Day 50: Ny-Sulitjelma fjellstue– Lomihytta 5 km – Calalveshytta, 12 km – Coarvihytta, 11,5 km
Day 51: Coarvihytta – Balvasshytta, 20,5 km
Day 52: Balvasshytta – Argaladhytta, 10,5 km – Trygvebu, 8 km
Day 53: Trygvebu – Graddis fjellstue, 8 km – Lønstua, 15 km
Day 54: Lønstua – Saltfjellstua, 24 km
Day 55: Saltfjellstua – Krukkistua, 5 km –Bolnastua , 27 km
Day 56: Bolnastua – Virvasshytta, 27 km
Day 57: Virvasshytta – Kvitsteindalstunet, 23 km
Day 58: Kvitsteindalstunet – Sauvasshytta, 23 km
Day 59: Sauvasshytta – Umbukta fjellstue, 11,5 km- Kjennsvasshytta, 11,5 km – Gressvasshytta, 10 km – Stekvasselv gård 11,5 km I`ve booked in advance. Resupply box with food for 4 days.
Day 60: Stekvasselv – Sivertgården, 21 km Book room in advance
Day 61: Sivertgården – Krutvatnet – Fisketjønna, 20 km
Day 62: Krutvatnet – Fisketjønna – Tverelvnes, 23 km Note to myself: Book in advance. Resupply box with food for 10 days.
Day 63: Tverelvnes – Grannes 12 km
Day 64: Grannes – Daningen, 23 km
Day 65: Daningen – Tiplingan Skogstue, 20 km
Day 66: Tiplingan Skogstue – Raentserenmehkie, 18 km (Børgefjell National Park)
Day 67: Raentserenmehkie – Viermahytta, 28 km (Børgefjell National Park)
Day 68: Viermahytta – Bustadmo, 28 km (Børgefjell National Park)
Day 69: Bustadmo – Kleiva, 24 km (Børgefjell National Park)
Day 70: Kleiva – Øvre Mykkelvikseter, 16 km
Day 71: Øvre Mykkelvikseter – Skorovasshøtta- 20 km
Day 72: Skorovatn – Midtre Nesåvatnet, 12 km – Kviltjønnhytta, 14 km
Day 73: Kviltjønnhytta – Skjelbredtunet, 13 km Resupply box with food for 11 days at Nordli local grocery store
Day 74: Skjelbredtunet – Almdalshytta, 20 km
Day 75: Almdalshytta – Gressåmoen, 19 km
Day 76: Gressåmoen – Langvasshytta, 34 km
Day 77: Langvasshytta – Holden, 11 km – Gaundalen, 14 km
Day 78: Gaundalen – Sætertjønnhytta (Sætertjønnhytta is a DNT self-service cabin where you can buy food), 28 km
Day 79: Sætertjønnhytta – Skjækerdalshytta (Skjækerdalshytta is a DNT self-service cabin), 15 km
Day 80: Skjækerdalshytta – Bringsåsen, 16 km (Bringåsen is a DNT self-service cabin)
Day 81: Bringsåsen – Bellingstua, 19 km (Bellingstua is a DNT self-service cabin)
Day 82: Bellingstua – Ferslia, 27 km (Ferslia is a DNT self-service cabin)
Day 83: Ferslia – Angeltjønnhytta, 15 km (Angeltjønnhytta is a DNT self-service cabin)
Day 84: Angeltjønnhytta – Teveltunet, 22 km (Teveltunet is a staffed cabin) Note to myself: Book in advance. Resupply box with food for 10 days.
Day 85: Teveltunet – Storerikvollen, 31 km (Storerikvollen is a DNT staffed cabin)
Day 86: Storerikvollen – Nedalshytta, 23 km (Nedalshytta is a DNT staffed cabin)
Day 87: Nedalshytta – Stugudal, 15 km – Kjølihytta, 19 km
Day 88: Kjølihytta – Glåmos, 33 km
Day 89: Glåmos – Røros, 20 km This is where I meet my parents, and we`ll stay for two days. They bring food for 10 days and maps to Lindesnes!
Day 90: ZERO
Day 91: ZERO
Day 93: Røros – Narjordet (DNT self-served cabin) 18 km (Femundsmarka National Park)
Day 93: Narjordet – Hodalen 16 km (Femundsmarka National Park)
Day 94: Hodalen – Raudsjødalen (DNT self-service cabin) 18 km (Femundsmarka National Park)
Day 95: Raudsjødalen –Knausen (DNT self-service cabin) 14km- Tynset 13 km (Femundsmarka)
Day 96 and 97: Tynset – Franksætra 39 km (mostly on road)
Day 98: Franksætra – Follandsvangen 7 km – Langfjellet – Stodsbuøye 11 km – Øvre (or Nedre) Dørålseter Turisthytte 14 km
Day 99: Dørålseter – Brekkeseter 26 km (Høvringen)
Dag 100: Ca 15. august: Høvringen – Vågå 32 km (road) Resupply box for 7 days at Vågå local grocery store
Day 101 – 102: Vågå – Glitterheim 52 km
Day 103: Glitterheim – Glittertind – Glitterheim
Day 104 – 105: Glitterheim – Besseggen – Memurubu
Day 106: Memurubu – Gjendebu 10 km (via Bukkelægret)
Day 107: ZERO at Gjendebu (DNT staffed cabin. The oldest of all the DNT cabins!) 10 km (by Bukkelægret)
Day 108: Gjendebu – Fondsbu 16 km
Day 109: Fondsbu – Tyinholmen fjellstuer 5 km Resupply box with food for 5 days – Slettingsbu (DNT self-service cabin) 16 km
Day 110: Slettingsbu – Slettingen 6 km – Sulebu (DNT self-service cabin) 12 km
Day 111: Sulebu – Breistølen Fjellstue (staffed cabin) 21 km
Day 112: Breistølen – Bjordalsbu 11 km – Iungsdalshytta (DNT staffed cabin) 15 km
Day 113: Iungsdalshytta – Kongshelleren 12 km – Geiterygghytta (DNT staffed cabin) 8 km
Day 114: Geiterygghytta – Finse 14km Resupply box with food for 5 days at Finse old station building– Kjeldebu (DNT staffed cabin) 22 km
Day 115: Kjeldebu – Dyranut 7 km – Trondsbu turisthytte 6 km – Sandhaug 11 km
Day 116: Sandhaug – Besso 6 km – Litlos 16 km
Day 117: Litlos – Hellevassbu 16 km
Day 118: Hellevassbu – Haukeliseter 19 km Staffed DNT cabin. Book room in advance and collect resupply box with food for 10 days
Day 119: ZERO
Day 120: Haukeliseter – Bjåi 28 km
Day 121: Bjåi – Tjørnbråtbu 15 km – Berdalsbu 7 km
Day 122: Berdalsbu – Bjørnevasshytta 14 km
Day 123: Bjørnevasshytta – Hovstøyl (DNT self-service cabin) 21 km
Day 124: Hovstøyl – Nystøyl – Nutevasshytta (DNT self-service cabin) 18 km
Day 125: Nutevasshytta – Granbustøyl – Grunnetjørnsbu (DNT self-service cabin) 28 km
Day 126: Grunnetjørnsbu – Skarvassbu (DNT self-service cabin) 13 km
Day 127: Skarvassbu – Dølemo 17 km (and this is the end of the wilderness…)
Day 128-133: Dølemo – Evje 50 km Resupply box with food for 5 days at Evje local grocery store – Sveindal 25 km – Byremo 10 km – Birkeland – Snartemo 18 km – Lyngdal 14 km – Lindesnes! 30 km
Map or GPS? As a rule, I use a map and a compass for navigation. But I also bring my GPS where I can get the UTM-coordinates, and I have a satellite phone for emergencies. And I do bring extra batteries for both!
I bought this map for my GPS, which covers all of Norway at a 1:50,000 scale.
I downloaded my maps from Kartverket.no (Norway), Exursionmap.fi (Finland) and Lantmateriet (Sweden) at a 1:50,000 scale. It`s free and it`s legal! To save weight, I printed two pages per sheet. Now, this was when I had to be really careful; I numbered the prints and I marked where I entered and left each page. I highlighted the important names, and sometimes I put a notice in the margin of what`s coming up next. Occasionally I supplied with maps in a smaller scale, to get the overview.
I ended up with 110 A4-sized sheets with maps on both sides. My entire Norwegian odyssey weighing no more than 550 grams! Wow, I can`t imagine how much those maps would have weighed a few years ago when there was no print on demand!
Postscript, written 2017-06-02:
I will be tracking my route, and this is the link to my InReach MapShare, which will show you where I am at almost any time.
In the end, I laminated my maps.
The A4-format is not ideal for maps when you want the pig picture. If I had printed the maps single-sided instead of two pages per sheet, I would have been able to lay the maps beside each other and get a better overview. But still, I think the A4-format is a bit too small.
The A3-format would have been better, but I think laminating A3-sheets would make the maps pretty inconvenient. So maybe, at the end of my hike, I`ll stick to the old fashioned maps you buy in a store? I`ll keep you updated.
This link gives you the opportunity to print your own map at any scale you prefer. Remember to remove the tag from “rutenett”.
With this app, you`ll have a free GPS on your mobile phone. If you`re familiar with all that new technology, you might not raise your eyebrows, but I`m so thrilled and amazed about the app that I can`t stop checking the green marker that tells me with great accuracy exactly where I am!
Right before I left, I sent an e-mail to the Norwegian rescue services with my route and contact information, including my name, address, birth number, phone number, my next of kins (Mum and Dad), their phone numbers, a link to my InReach MapShare and a link to my website.