Crossing the Hardangervidda from North to South, 10 days, full camping gear, August 2016:
Finse-Rembesdalseter-Fossli Hotel (Liseth)-Camping after Hedlo-Torehytten-Tyssevassbu-Trolltunga-Tyssevassbu-Litlos-Hellevassbu-Haukeliseter
- The Norwegian “allemandsretten” means that wild camping is allowed anywhere.
- Most of the huts on Hardangervidda are self-service huts, meaning there is a food supply storage, thus there is no need to bring food for more than 1-2 days.
- Starting from Finse I walked around the glacier Hardangerjøkulen on the until Rembesdalseter.
- At Rembedalsseter the trail has been re-routed as the burst of a sub-glacial water lake led to a new river pattern flooding the previous trail and no new bridge is in place
- The re-routing is tough: After passing a dam an incredibly muddy and steep ascent goes on for several km.
- In addition I was hit by a massive rainfall and thunderstorm lasting 8 hours on this stage from Rembesdalseter to Liseth: The trail had become a river and my boots ended up completely soaked. I capitulated and turned up completely soaked at Fossli Hotel in Liseth after 9+ hours in this weather.
- The location of Fossli Hotel is great, right next to Vøringsfossen, the most famous waterfall in Norway. The atmosphere at Fossli hotel atmosphere is of last century and the staff are incredibly friendly with the receptionist offering me a ride in the morning (I refused though). On the other hand it does not look like the hotel rooms have been renovated since the 1950s
- Getting back on Hardangervidda from Liseth I had to jump over a highway fence, which I missed at first for obvious reasons.
- When a second thunderstom arrived two days later I stayed 24 hours inside my tent at a small inlet after Hedlo. During this thunderstorm more than 300 reindeer were killed when lightning struck about 15 km away
- Briefly met the hut warden at Hadlaskard, a lovely 80+ year woman assisted by her daughter.
- At Torehytten two foreigners clearly cheated and left without paying. The self-service hut system is an honor-based system where visitors write their name and address in the log and the DNT then later sends the bills. I was told that this kind of cheating unfortunately is on the increase.
- Walking to Tyssevassbu I encountered the most difficult snow bridge I had ever seen. Had to give up passing it but luckily scrambled over a nearby cliff:
- The Trolltunga hike is described in another post however even in late August there is still a lot of snow around Tyssevassbu where 11 major snowfields had to be crossed, the longest 500 meter.
- Towards the end, on two occaions, I met a woman crossing Norway from North to South on foot and writing about it, one in Norwegian, the other in English. They had both started near the North Cape almost four months previously.
- Looking forward to celebratory beer at Haukeliseter Lodge, however the lodge had closed down due to an epidemic of food poisoning.
- It was a cold hike with temperatures just above zero many days in a row.