An up and down path, this route is part of a loop popular among cross country skiers in the winter months. Starting at the Finse 1222 Hotel, which is situated on the shore of Finsevatnet along the railway platform, this walk takes you northwards towards a summit known locally as Sankt Pal. The walking is relatively easy, with a few ascents but mostlycovering undulating rock formations and meandering streams constantly supplied by patches of melting snow and ice.
From your starting point 1,222 metres above sea level, you'll climb another 400 metres which gives fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and of the ‘blue ice’ Hardangerjokulen glacier, Norway’s second largest glacier. The point at which you turn back is Klemsbu, a little mountain cabin on the plateau. The main building is closed during the quieter summer months, although it is possible to get into a small room in order to take rest or shelter from the harsher weather that batters the plateau.
Safety informationWeather conditions can change quickly in Norway - always be prepared and carry appropriate clothing; warm as well as waterproof layers, hat and gloves etc. Please see your information pack for a detailed packing list.
Tips and hints
The village of Finse does not have any stores, however the hotels are well stocked with the necessary supplies, including apparel.
The Rallarvegen: Norway’s most popular cycle route was built as a ‘navvy road’ back in 1894 when construction of the railway line began. There are a number of variations on the route but it links Geilo, Flam and Voss. The Haugerstol to Flam route is the most popular and is about 80km long – bikes can be rented from the Finse 1222 hotel.
The Rallarmuseet (Navvy Museum): The Bergen to Christiana railway line, of which Finse is perhaps the most stunning station along the route, was completed in 1909 and was, for a long time, the most extensive government construction project undertaken in Norway. The small museum can be covered during the wait for the train.
Extreme Conditions: Finse has been used by adventurers for expedition training for over a century; Shackleton called Finse, ‘the ideal South Pole landscape’. Today adventurers, athletes, and search & rescue teams still use Finse to test equipment and brush up on their skills. The Hardangerjokulen Glacier can be walked upon also, but only after a training session and in the company of a guide.
EquipmentGood waterproof boots are a must and walking poles are highly recommended. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack or packed lunch.
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Blister kit
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.