Hike up Galdhopiggen, Norway – Northern Europe’s Highest Peak

July 12, 2013

Smiugjelsoygarden - on the road to Spiterstulen

Smiugjelsoygarden – on the road to Spiterstulen

Taking advantage of a clear and warm day (highs in the 70s) we headed over to Spiterstulen to hike the steep 5.6k/3.5mile trail to Galdhopiggen, the highest peak in Northern Europe. At 2469m/8100ft it’s no nose bleed, but still, the 1400m/4600ft climb is rocky and strenuous. (Note that there is another popular trail to the peak from Juvasshytta  that requires a guided crossing of the Styggebreen glacier.)

Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen

In mid July there were still numerous snowy patches on the slopes which the Norwegians seem to prefer to the rocks, especially on the downhill where they do a sort of “shoe ski” down the slopes – a blast if you can stay upright.

Jotunheimen - hike down Galdhopiggen

I don’t think I have ever fallen more times on any single trail. Most reports claim 4 hours up and two hours down. That may be true if you can shoe ski, but if you fall as often as I do, plan on adding another hour or so.

Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen

Overall this was not one of my favorite hikes.  I’m not a fan of climbing on rocks or trying to go up snowy inclines without trekking poles. However, watching the train of Norwegians making the summer pilgrimage up this peak was a great cultural experience.

Jotunheimen - view from top of Galdhopiggen

The treeless landscape is quite photogenic with awesome views from the top.

The trail is not always clearly marked and is often under snow, however, with a treeless landscape and so many people to follow it would be difficult to get lost.

Jotunheimen - Galdhopiggen Helicopter rescue

While a challenge, the hike is not technically difficult. That said, we watched one teenager running down a snowy incline near the peak. In an instant he lost control and took a nose dive into the rocks requiring a helicopter rescue.

More photos:

Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - hike down Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - Galdhopiggen Peak-9 Jotunheimen - view from top of Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - view from top of Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - Hike up Galdhopiggen Jotunheimen - hike down Galdhopiggen

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This entry was posted in Day Hikes Norway, Hiking, Travel, Travel Scandinavia and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Hike up Galdhopiggen, Norway – Northern Europe’s Highest Peak

  1. Pingback: Choosing a Hike in Jotunheimen Natl Park, Norway | Cooking in Tongues

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