Updated: Jul 19, 2022
Our first few hikes in Norway were adventurous. Small waterfalls, steep inclines, giant boulders and tons and tons of mud... made for some intriguing experiences to start us off.
We were given some great advice from locals about various hikes around Osterøy (where we stayed at first and fun fact, the biggest inland island in Europe!). As of today, we still have not fully conquered those hikes (insert hilarious laughing emoji)! We did however wander onto the hike up Brøknipa thinking it was an easy, short, afternoon jaunt. We were wrong. We also attempted Olsnessåta, but that didn’t go as planned either... and while we didn't get all the way to the summit, the hikes and views were well worth the (many) hours of effort.
Qualifier - we are hiking beginners. For experienced hikers, especially sans kids, these hikes would likely be much simpler for you, especially if you are a Norwegian local and do this all the time… (which they do).
The hikes take a few hours, but they’re manageable. These hikes require endurance and strong "trunk" muscles as there are significant inclines and climbing, but overall, a steady pace and willingness to work through some discomfort will yield beautiful rewards (there is a great analogy about life in there!).
Also worth noting, some of us have seen mountains in various places around the world, whether the Rockies, the Andes, the Appalachian, etc... and some of those are ENORMOUS (and stunning!). We also haven't avidly hiked those with kids so our experiences here are new. Plus, Norway's fjords and mountains are just... different!
We don't want to bore you with details, so we highlighted the basics below. It will be interesting to see if these highlights become the common themes of nature here in Norway.
Mud everywhere. Did we mention that? It rains a lot here, especially in the Spring...sooo... lots and lots of water, runoff, snow melting from glaciers, (you get the idea), and mud… which means we definitely got dirty and put our hiking gear to good use! When we say mud, we mean ankle-deep, no way around it, soak your socks and shoes kind of mud.
For emphasis on the mud, there were planks scattered in various areas where you literally need to grab and throw them ahead of you to "create" your own path.
The journey up Brøknipa was lovely - beautiful grassy areas, open sky, wildflowers, trees that grow in higher elevations (not thick forest though, it was too high). There were also small brooks, streams and mini-falls all throughout as the water just drains from the top.
Olsnessåta (or what we came to find was actually closer to Rispingen) was a big climb. Boulders everywhere and steep enough to actually climb up vertically a couple times. But fun. There were also markers that looked like little stone altars everywhere to mark paths. That was helpful.
Distance was deceiving. Depth perception in the mountains is tricky and while the next mountain or ridge looks “close,” it may take you another hour to get to it with winding trails and a fair amount of ground to cover in between. Obviously we miscalculated multiple times 😅
The sun came out! During our late lunch toward midpoint for Brøknipa and a fair amount of the time in the evening for Olsnessåta, the sun came out and it was warm, energizing and so, so welcome! It was actually enough to give a slight sun-kiss to the cheeks too (note: the sun makes a HUGE difference in temperature… layers are a MUST, tips below!)
Mini-waterfall. We hiked/climbed what seemed like a small waterfall! Our phones have poor depth perception and don't show the height and inclines in photos (anyone else run into that? Photographer friends, what are your solutions?). But, these were some random captures. Anyway, again, for experienced hikers I'm sure it wasn't much, but it was steep, with the type of rocks that fall under your footing and steep banks that you can't really walk on. Your best bet is sturdy boulders and hopeful trails people have carved out of the banks themselves. It was the hardest part of the hike. It made us a little nervous with the kids, but we worked together, took our time, and weren't afraid to get dirty (hands, knees, shoes, everything). This little "waterfall" actually ended up being our favorite part aside from the views toward the top. Also, where we stayed in Osterøy, there were waterfalls (huge ones!) everywhere. It's one of the funnest parts of the fjord region... there is a stunning waterfall around every corner!
It's one of the funnest parts of the fjord region... there is a stunning waterfall around every corner!
Snowball fight. Yes. Near Olsessnåta we finally reached elevations with snow and Capri was THRILLED to finally get to it - she loves the “snowy ones" (mountains). Once we arrived a snowball fight quickly ensued! It ended abruptly when Lucian stepped into glacier cold water and we had to pivot plans, BUT, still super fun.
Views - last but not least, the views. They were incredible. We have no more words. We’re just in awe of Creation, of the One we believe created, and the humbling opportunity we have to take it in.
Enjoy some moments with us!
Well, those are some of our firsts in Norway! On our end, we consider them a success.
What about you? Have you been here and climbed to these summits? How do you feel about mud? What has been your favorite climb?
Tell us in the comments!