SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – January 2013

Norway: Home of the Giants

Norway's Jotunheimen National Park bristles with glacier-clad peaks amid northern Europe's highest mountains, but a five-star hut system makes it a place you can bring your kids. And mom.

by: Michael Lanza

Rauddalen (
Rauddalen ("Red Valley") (Photo by Vegard Roine Stenerud)
Trail Junctions are well marked (Photo by Blick Winkel/AGE Fotostock)
Trail Junctions are well marked (Photo by Blick Winkel/AGE Fotostock)
Author with his Mom (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Author with his Mom (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Jeff Wilhelm Leaving Olavsbu Hut (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Jeff Wilhelm Leaving Olavsbu Hut (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Scrambling up Besseggen Ridgen (Photo by Michael Lanza)
Scrambling up Besseggen Ridgen (Photo by Michael Lanza)

Jotunheimen—which translates as “Home of the Giants”—contains the highest European mountains north of the Alps, starkly barren peaks rising to more than 8,000 feet and blanketed with thick, crack-riddled glaciers. Braided rivers meander down mostly treeless valleys, and reindeer roam wild. But best of all, a trek in Jotunheimen combines that pristine wilderness with Europe’s most luxurious huts, as well as flexible route options and side trips. It seemed perfect for a group like ours, with a wide range of ages and abilities.

One small wrinkle: Thanks to an unusually cold summer, much of the ground here remains snow-covered in late July. And rather than the average summer highs in the 50s, the forecast calls for days of rain, wind, and temperatures in the 30s.

Indeed, we had to implement Plan B on our trek’s first morning. At Gjendesheim, a hotel masquerading as a hut on the shore of Gjende, an 11-mile-long finger lake, we awoke to cold rain. My mom, kids, and Penny reached a quick consensus that the 30-minute ferry across Gjende to our next hut, Memurubu, looked like a fine alternative to battling the weather. Meanwhile, Jeff, Jasmine, and I put on our shells and set out to hike 10 miles to Memurubu via Besseggen Ridge.

Often called “the most famous hike in Norway,” Besseggen is one of those iconic places that’s sure to draw a crowd on a nice summer day. In blowing rain and snow, though, we saw almost no one. Amazingly, we still got to enjoy the famed scenery. Midday, the clouds lifted like a stage curtain, revealing snowy mountains rolling away to far horizons. Before us, Besseggen Ridge tilted sharply downward and narrowed to a gooseneck land bridge separating emerald Gjende from another lake, the hypnotically blue Bessvatnet. The seemingly improbable sculpturing of earth and water stirred the same awe I’ve felt in places like Patagonia and Iceland. For a moment, I wished my family were with me.

But only for a moment. As we scrambled down several hundred feet of exposed, rain-slick ledges, I had an anxious vision of trying to lead my family through this hairy stretch in these hypothermia-inducing conditions. The thought unsettled me. What if the rest of the week brought more of the same? They couldn’t take a shortcut every day.

I chose Jotunheimen looking for the wildest adventure I could do with my kids and mom—and have them like it. At the end of the first day, I was still confident they’d make it. But afterward, would they like me?




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Trekking in Nepal
Apr 03, 2013

Acute Trek Pvt. Ltd. an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Benefit, of course there is the Acute trek part of choice. We have your choose of trekking for 3 days or 30 or more days it depending of your timetable, sleep under lodges or tent. We always respect our duty to constantly your holiday satisfaction in Nepal. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements. It is significant to memorize, though, it necessitate an enough level of physical homework and must remembers that there is also a psychosomatic assurance in walking in mountains. Acute trek is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come.

We dedicated ourselves to take each step essential to provide you and skill you will dotingly look back upon not kind what it cost you, as you will be recurring a wealthier person full of reminiscences. We trekking and tours company in Nepal that is very believable, responsible and fully offers personage, group, tailored travel and trekking excursions in Nepal. If you would like to explorer lifetime knowledge of Trekking in Nepal and visiting destination of different part of Nepal as well as tours to Bhutan and destination Tibet in a secure and safe mode, then we is the exact agency for you. Our trekking tours involve knowledge all aspect of country, the enormous historical sites, natural loveliness and wildlife, most prominently, they give you the opportunity to get with local people and to see their custom first hand. Further you need not have to be an sportsperson, as trekking in Nepal and between the people is itself an well knowledge as trekking, tour, hiking is not climbing. Anyone with a join up to strong legs and strength of adventure to discover the exotic will pleasurable the excitement of trekking, tours and charming discovery. Acute Trek specialize in organize excursion such as trekking in Nepal Annapurna base camp, Upper Mustang Trekking, Everest base camp trek, Langtang trekking, Kanchenjunga trek, Manaslu trekking are an domestic and international tours running that are a preferred of many Nepal holiday.

http://www.trekshimalaya.com
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/trekking_in_nepal.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/teahouse_trek.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/kathmandu_pokhara_tour.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/high_pass_treks.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/luxury_tour.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/helicopter_tour.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna_region.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna_base_camp.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna_panorama.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/ghorepani_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/jomsom_muktinath_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/annapurna_circuit_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/tilicho_lake_mesokunto_pass.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/upper_mustang_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest_region.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest_base_camp.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest_panoramic_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/gokyo_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/gokyo_trek_everest_base_camp.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/renjolatrek.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest_kongmala_trek.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/three_pass_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/everest_trekking_fr_jiri.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/langtang_region.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/langtang_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/gosaikunda_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/helambhu_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/tamang_heritage.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/chisapani_nagarkot_dhulikhel_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/cultural_treks.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/langtang_gosaikunda_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/ganjala_trekking.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/peak_climbing_in_nepal.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/peak_climbing.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/high_pass_treks.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/nepal_for_all_season.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/package_tour.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/island_peak.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/mera_peak.php
http://www.trekshimalaya.com/pisang_peak.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/mustang-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/upper-mustang-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/lower-mustang-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/package-tour.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/annapurna-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/annapurna-base-camp-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/everest-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/gokyo-trek.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/langtang-trekking.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/tea-house-trek.php
http://www.adventurestrekking.com/three-pass-trek.php
http://www.hikingsinnepal.blogspot.com
http://www.nepaltripadvisors.blogspot.com

Star Star Star Star Star
Trekking in Nepal
Apr 03, 2013

Acute Trek Pvt. Ltd. an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Benefit, of course there is the Acute trek part of choice. We have your choose of trekking for 3 days or 30 or more days it depending of your timetable, sleep under lodges or tent. We always respect our duty to constantly your holiday satisfaction in Nepal. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements.
http://www.trekshimalaya.com
http://www.adventurestrekking.com

Star Star
Anonymous
Feb 12, 2013

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Jury acquits man who (probably) killed
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
Trailhead Register
Scouting woes...
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: starwalker
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions