Snøhetta towers strong and white in the Dovrefjell landscape, where nature and culture go hand-in-hand.
Text: Mari Hvalen Høihjelle
“United and true until Dovre falls,” said the men at Eidsvold; a statement that bears witness to the importance of the mountain range in Norwegian identity and cultural history. It was long thought that Snøhetta was the tallest mountain in Norway. Perhaps not surprising, seeing how this silent giant towers alone on the mountain plateau. However, Snøhetta is the highest peak outside Jotunheimen, and there are plenty of reasons to come here.
AN EASY WALK TOWARDS THE CLIMB
One crystal clear morning in August, we set out from the large trekking association cabin, Snøheim, which re-opened in 2012. The mountain plateau is bathed in sunlight, but a strict wind tells us to keep our warm clothes on. We follow the markings towards Stortoppen, and after wandering along easy scree for a while, we embark on the steep climb. On our way up the scree, we can't help thinking about how classic Dovrefjell actually is. The spectacular picturesque nature is the very foundation of Norway, with rare flora, the Arctic fox, musk ox and wild reindeer. Here is the pilgrim path, the king’s road and home to myths, the saga of the kings and Ibsen’s and Grieg’s ‘Dovregubben’. In the midst of it all, we feel how powerful the mountain is.
PEAKING AFTER THE PEAK 800
metres of climbing later, we finally find ourselves standing at the top, with an incredible 360 degree view. Luckily, we decide to follow the host at Snøheim, Kjell Hjellødegård’s advice: Walk the extra 20 minutes across to Midttoppen. And we’re glad we did! Midttoppen offers an even grander view, from all sides. This is where the mountain ridge grows narrower, giving it an airy feeling. The view further on towards Hettpiggen and the rest of the Snøhetta traverse is both fascinating and intimidating, but we will have to leave that for another time, as it required climbing experience and proper equipment.
Accomodation: The cabin Snøheim is a natural place for accomodation and food.
WHERE: Snøhetta (2286 moh) Dovrefjell- Sunndalsfjella National park
ACCESS: Park by Hjerkinnhus. Take the bus to Snøheim. Follow narked trails to Stortoppen.
LENGHT: 5–7 timer roun trip. 6km one way. Ascent: 800 meters
ACCOMODATION & FOOD: Snøheim
More beautiful hikes in Dovrefjell:
- Skredahøin (2004 moh)
- Storstyggesvånåtinden (2209 moh)
- Bruri (2001 moh)
- Hjerkinnshøe (1288 moh)
- Veslhorrungen (1591 moh)