Survival guide to Norways longest uphill - or how to age 70 years in a day.
Norwegians are, as I suppose you already know, the born mountaineers. Born by the fjords, gazing on glacier-clad peaks from childhood, our destiny must surely be to climb and conquer every peak available.
However, for the modern man like myself, time is of the essence, and having underachieved in the conquering part of my part naturelover, part viking heritage, the summer of 2016 was the time to make amends. And to make sure noone took me for a soft academic, I'd chosen the ultimate climb: The 1848 meters of Skåla - with its iconic tower.
Skåla is located near Loen, on the Western part of Norway, the part of Norway that looks like most foreigners believe all of Norway to be like:
The climb starts basically at sea Level, and during 8 km you'll climb 1848 meters, meaning an average incline of about 22%. This is actually Norways longest climb! At the same time you'll go from pleasant summer climate, to subzero temperatures and the possibility of running into a snow storm. Like I said, the ultimate climb, even for seasoned mountaineers. Luckily, there's no real climbing needed, all it takes is willpower and stamina. This might sound deterring, but I've provided a guide that we'll make the climb easier for those of you eager to give it a go. Here are my best tips:
- Don't post at silly photos of yourself smiling and looking happy once you've climbed 350 meters (with still 1500 m to go) like som idiots:
- Drink regularly from the refreshing glazier rivers. It'll both revive you and make you feel closer to nature (since this trip is already turning into an hunt for the true Norwegian Identity).
3)Pack your Winter clothes, even if it's July -you're gonna need them. This should probably be the first tip, and if you've already started your climb reading as you go - tough luck.
- Once at the top, expect GREAT views.
- Make sure to step inside the Skåla Tower, and pray that someone has beat you to the summit and has already got a fire going.
- Beware of the wild cows!
- The downhill is the worst: It's not physically enduring, but it will absolutely destroy your joints! Hence the title of my post: waking up the next day not being able to extend your knees or walk normally makes you think you've entered a time warp at the top, instantly aging 70 years.
- Once you make it: Treat yourself to a night with a buffet at Alexandra Hotel in Loen! The pool, the soft beds, the fries - everything will make you forget the strenous climb and actuelly be quite happy with yourself.
Jokes apart, it was a great climb with amazing views of the landscape!
I'll gladly answer any questions about preparations etc.!