Exploring Norway – Hardanger 2021

Snowy landscape leading to Trolltunga, Hardanger, Norway.

Experience seven incredible days in Hardanger, Norway.

23rd May to 29th May 2021.

Arrival Oslo 22nd and departure Oslo 30th.

Join us, for an exclusive trip available for just 6-people exploring the stunning Norwegian paradise of Hardanger. Located in the west of Norway, Hardanger is a traditional district with a great deal to offer in both summer and winter, it is a 5 to 6-hour drive from Oslo which is our meeting and start point for our week.

Designed as an introduction to some of Norway’s natural beauty, our itinerary provides enough challenge and excitement, even for an experienced runner.

In keeping with fastpacking traditions and exploring, our week mixes nights with hotel comfort, camping with facilities and camping wild when we will need to be self-sufficient.

While a great deal of experience to join us is not essential you must have all of the following to ensure that you will feel comfortable during the week.

  • Relentless positivity for excitement and challenge.
  • An ability to cover distance at a decent walk/ jog pace with a pack. Longest distance 22km.
  • An ability to camp and embrace the challenges that this brings.
  • An understanding of technical terrain, snow/ ice and and sense of adventure.
  • A love for the outdoors, stunning views and a great sense of humour.

Hardanger offers some challenges but there is nothing on the routes that we undertake that is considered extreme. Norway, especially in late May can still have snow and ice and therefore, covering distance in these conditions should be a challenge but something that you can embrace.

Itinerary:
Day 1Arrive Oslo – You book accommodation of choice.
Day 2 – Meet central Oslo 0800. Leave Oslo 0900 for drive to Hardanger in a private 9-person vehicle. Overnight at hotel on Hardangerfjord, the location of where the Norseman Extreme Triathlon swim finishes.
Day 3The Queens Route – night camping at Odda.
The official route is 16km and is estimated to take 8-9 hours (hiking) and is described as ‘long and demanding!’ Our route has the addition of 4km making a total of 20km. The views are incredible and the terrain is exhilarating, especially with snow on the ground.
You will find breathtaking views of the Sørfjord, Odda, the Folgefonna Glacier, Hardanger Bridge and Eidfjord. You can also see all the way over to Kvanndal and Utne, and along the fjord to Kinsarvik. 
Day 4Trolltunga (early start) – night camping at Odda

The Trolltunga (Trolls Tongue) is an iconic route in Norway. Formed about 10,000 years ago by glacier erosion it is considered one of the most spectacular cliffs in Norway. From the side, it quite literally looks like a tongue balancing 700m above the Ringedalsvatnet lake. Considered as a ‘demanding’ route, the out-and-back can be estimated to take 8-12 hours and the typical season is June to September. Outside of this timing one must have a guide. For most, particularly with snow, this is a challenging route, mainly due to the 20km+ distance, elevation gain and at times, demanding terrain.

Snowy landscape leading to Trolltunga, Hardanger, Norway.

Day 5 –  Buerbreen Glacier in the AM.
The route is less than 6km and has appx 450m of vertical gain, but the route has a great mix of some technical terrain, fixed rope, water crossings and snow if you are lucky.
Waterfall route PM with overnight wild camp.
The route is 12km +/- out and back with 630m+. The views are incredible and the noise of the 4 waterfalls impressive. At times, the trail rises steeply and there is some scrambling and multiple water crossings.
Day 6 –  AM: Leisure morning. PM: Oksen wild camp for sunset.
Our suggestion is to arrive late afternoon or early evening and wild camp. We will start the start the climb of Oksen and after approximately 1-mile we will find a plateau with two huts, here is a good place to camp with a great view of the fjord.
Day 7 –  Explore Oksen including summit. Return to Oslo
This route is very different to the previous day’s expeditions. It feels much more remote, exposed and has many similarities to a classic VK (vertical kilometer) route. You will climb just over 1000m+ in less than 5km to reach the summit. The whole route is steep and especially so between 400-600m+ and after 800M+ with the route flattening out towards the summit. At all times the views are incredible and arguably the views of Hardangerfjord, Sørfjorden, Granvinsfjorden, Eidfjorden and Samlafjorden are the best in the region.
At the summit you have options to extend your route. This will be based on time and each persons fitness/ ability.
Day 8 –  Depart Oslo

Cost per person is £1600.00

Deposit to secure a place £300pp.

JOIN US BY CLICKING HERE

Only 6-places are available and on each outing you will have two guides that will be able to adjust pace as required. These routes/ experiences are about exploring and enjoyment, not racing! Yes, we will challenge ourselves but not at the expense of fun.

Read an in-depth article on Exploring Hardanger HERE

Practical Information:
  1. All routes are based on weather and the schedule, route options may need to be adjusted for safety reasons.
  2. June has potential for snow on many of the routes, in particular Trolltunga. This will be physically more demanding and one must be prepared with at a minimum, micro crampons and poles. An ice axe may well be an overkill, but having one is a security blanket.
  3. The routes offer a good balance of challenge and exposure without being too demanding.
  4. Safety is paramount and on all runs/ trips there will be a minimum requirement of the following: LS base layer, warm layer (down or primaloft), waterproof jacket and trousers (taped seams), warm hat, gloves, buff, bivvy bag, food adequate for the excursion and water. Obviously a pack to hold all the items.
  5. Waterfall route and Oksen will require the ability to carry a *tent, *sleeping matt and *sleeping bag for a night wild camping. If possible, best to share a two-man tent and spilt the weight if possible. *You need to bring these.
  6. Food – This is an adventure holiday and as such, it’s about being in the elements and surviving. The opportunity to purchase fresh food will be available at Odda and before/ after the waterfall route. We suggest you bring adequate dehydrated food for the trip. We recommend FIREPOT who partner with us and provide a discount. Bring a solo cooking system, like the one by MSR. Gas for the cooking system can be pre-ordered and collected from us on arrival in Oslo.
  7. Odda campsite has toilet and shower facilities, so, it will be possible to clean and freshen up on night 3 and 4. You will wild camp night 5 but you can jump in the river. Night 6 again will be a wild camp with a potentially smelly ride back to Oslo.
  8. We recommend you book an overnight in Oslo for night 7 with a departure back home for day 8.