Mighty waterfalls, endless snowfields and some of the world’s most beautiful panoramic views are only part of the reason why you should go on the Trolltunga hike, in Norway.
Situated a few miles away from Odda - some three-hour drive from Bergen airport – Trolltunga literally means “The Troll Tongue”, and its meaning is quite straightforward.
The hike is 22 kilometres amidst rocks, snow and rain, the first 11 climbing and the others descending towards the valley.
Once you reach the top, the special cliff is jutting horizontally out from the mountain, into free air about 700 metres (2,300 ft) above the north side of the lake Ringedalsvatnet.
We got to the top in a particularly windy day, and standing on the edge of the Tongue was surely the most dangerous and re-invigorating experience of my life.
But the true reason why you should do this hike, and any hike really, is the challenge.
As you climb the mountain you’ll be confronted with different types of terrain and increasingly cold temperatures.
Starting at the foot of the mountain, you’ll have to start climbing the first two kilometres almost vertically. There are steps in the rock and dirty rope to facilitate your ascent, but don’t expect it to be easier because of that. Unless you’re very fit or trained for hiking, this will present a good challenge.
The following part will allow you some breathing. Situated in an enormous mountaintop valley, you’ll have to walk for about 45 minutes.
The climbing will start soon after that, with the remaining six kilometres climbing. We have been there in May and the snow was about to start melting - making some parts of the routes pretty perilous - but temperatures were still under below zero.
Reaching the top was not an easy task. Walking through thick snow can be tough, especially under the beating rain, but it was absolutely worth it.
With rescue missions regularly carried out for people who underestimate it, Trolltunga is surely one of the toughest hikes you could go on, and one of the most rewarding, both in terms of the experience itself, and the final panorama.