Norwegian Mountains, Nordland

Elgen, July 22 2007

For Information, maps, trailhead and route descriptions, click HERE.

It was day six..

.. of our holiday week in northern Norway. My hiking mate Torill and I had climbed Stetind as part of a guided group, and hiked Stefjordnestinden, Mulbukttinden, Sætertinden, and Middagstinden.

This was our final day up north. We had the afternoon flight out of Evenes. Earlier in the morning, we had visited Hinnstein and Vardheia. The most excellent staff at the Grand Nordic Hotel granted us check-out time at 16:00PM, and we found that there was sufficient time to visit Elgen too.


We didn't know anything about any route up to Elgen, but knew there was one. As we got Elgen in view while driving across Aunfjellet, we immediately noticed a forest road. We like forest roads, and decided to try our luck with this one. The worst-case algorithm was quite easy; the forest road would take us up to approx. 200m., and the forest didn't seem to extend above 300m. So, 100 vertical meters through the forest was "child's play". We had a plan!

We left the trailhead 12:05PM, 35 minutes after arriving Medkila school after having visited Hinnstein and Vardheia. There was another car at the trailhead, and I was fairly confident about *this* place being the trailhead. At 150m elevation, the forest road began to descend. That wasn't part of our plan, and we defaulted to the worst-case scenario. But then we realized that we were actually on a path. Vague indeed, but still a path.

We followed this path as it switchbacked up the forest. The direction was a bit strange, and I guessed that the local sheep were playing practical jokes on the tourists. But the path eventually took the right course, and soon we were at the foot of the north ridge. We passed a woman and her granddaughter on the ridge. She warned us about a scrambling point a bit higher on the ridge, but assumed that we would be OK with it.

After some further smalltalk, Torill told her that we had climbed Stetind earlier in the week, and the woman, somewhat embarrassed recalled the scrambling warning. We continued up the ridge and reached the top of Elgen 13:05PM. This was our 8th top in 6 days. Although the mountain height's hadn't been dazzling, we had still hiked 1050 vertical meters in average, each day. That surely makes up for the afteroon beer. Beer is something you earn. Now, it's a bit unfair to drag Torill into this beer story. She had one in the evening. And that's it. A remarkable self-discipline that I will never see the contours of. But that's OK. I'm not that sad about it..

Descent & Home

Upon descent, it was time for the daily exercise. After all, I had been a good lad and brought sandwiches (as instructed by Torill). Now it was payback time. First, I told Torill to descend the scrambling section without using her hands. Good balance training. Next, there was a couple of cool rocks on the ridge that had to be visited. The training week had done wonders to Torill's balance and self-confidence in awkward terrain. Too bad that a kick-ass peak wasn't awaiting the next day.

A number of hikers were on their way upwards. A lone hiker had an awesome backpack. I told him - you have to be training for a bigger hike!. He acknowledged. He had been doing this for a while, lost 20Kg, and the bigger hike was somewhere in Sweden, some time this autumn. Then we ran into a nice couple whom we chatted for at least 10 minutes. We were back at the trailhead 14:25PM, and it was the end to hiking in northern Norway in 2007.

Thanks to the extended check-out time at Grand Nordic Hotel, there was time for a quick shower before driving to Evenes. After returning the rental car, we had to wait 3 hours for the plane. The first hour was killed by explainig the concepts of primary factor, the second hour was killed by looking through the pictures, leaving one hour to stare in the roof. Fortunately, the journey home went fairly smooth, and we returned to Ålesund at midnight. 6 hours until I had to get up for work. Sigh...

Many, many thanks to Torill for being splendid company this week.

Pictures from the July 22 2007 trip

To Elgen

1. Elgen comes into view (200KB) 2. Nona on Grytøya - next time (325KB) 3. Bumblebee (203KB) 4. Our trailhead (220KB) 5. Elgen ahead (289KB) 6. Elgen north ridge (222KB) 7. Rock face (278KB) 8. View down the far side (425KB) 9. Sandskjeret - a cool island (174KB) 10. On Elgen (200KB)

Wide-angle view from Elgen

11. Wide-angle view from Elgen (870KB)

50mm views from Elgen, 3 parts

12. 50mm view from Elgen, part 1/3 (797KB) 13. 50mm view from Elgen, part 2/3 (824KB) 14. 50mm view from Elgen, part 3/3 (329KB)


15. Ytre Elgsnes (253KB) 16. The old man and his ocean (270KB) 17. Indre Elgsnes (295KB) 18. Checking out my vertigo (195KB) 19. Fish island (286KB) 20. Ytre Elgsnes (351KB) 21. Descending the north ridge (341KB) 22. Rock face (330KB) 23. Scramble practice (202KB)

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