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30.11.2020

Trolltunga, Vestland

Trolltunga (English: troll language) is a rock formation located at an altitude of about 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level in the municipality of Ullenswang in Westland County, Norway. The cliff rises horizontally from the mountain, about 700 meters (2300 feet) above the northern side of Lake Ringedalswatnet .

The popularity of the trip to Trolltuang and the rock formation itself has increased dramatically in recent years. The increased popularity has turned Trolltuang into a national symbol and the main attraction of the region. Until 2010, less than 800 people came to Trolltuang annually. In 2016, more than 80,000 people hiked a 27-kilometer (17 miles) round trip from the village of Skeggedal, making it one of the most popular hikes in Norway.

It is a very difficult hike, at least 10 hours on rough terrain. On the route of the hike there are no shelters and nowhere to buy supplies. However, about halfway there is a plan to build a house, where tourists can relax.

The mound is part of the Pre-Cambrian rocks and was formed during the Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago, when the edges of the glacier reached a cliff. The water from the glacier froze in the clefts of the mountain and eventually broke away from the large angular blocks, which were later carried away by the glacier. Along the gneiss rock itself, there are still deep cracks. The trail to Trolltung also runs through rocks and blurred slippery hills in the background, also containing gneiss.

Trolltunga is 17 km away from the city of Odda. The city of Bergen is about 190 kilometers (120 miles) from the site by main roads.

The beginning of the trail is at a small toilet parking lot in Skeggedal, about 7 km from the Norwegian National Road 13 in Tissidalen, near the dam at the end of Ringedalsvatnet. The cost of parking in the lower parking lot is 500 kroons per day (approx. 62 USD or 52 EUR).

The trip from the parking lot to Trolltunga and back is 27 kilometers (17 miles) back and forth with an elevation of 1100 meters (3600 feet) and takes approximately 10-12 hours, including breaks.

Next to the parking lot on Skjeggedal there is a funicular called Mågelibanen (it does not work). Here, on the left side of the funicular, the trail to Trolltung starts. It is marked with a red letter Ts on the terrain and signs along the trail that mark the distance to Trolltunga and the starting point in Skjeggedal.

The first 1.5 kilometers (0.93 miles) of the trail to Moglitoppa rises approximately 450 meters (1480 feet). From here, the trail goes a little outside before it becomes steep again, climbing another 330 meters (1080 feet) from Griteskaret to Trombascoret. This section is the steepest on the hike. But in recent years, this section has been improved by the Nepalese Sherpas, making it easier to pass.

After this 4-kilometer steep ascent from the parking lot, the next section goes down to the Store Floren. The trail continues through Hesteflien and the dried-up river Eendano, then becomes steeper to Eendanuten and crosses the dried-up river in Tissestren. From here the trail passes the glacial potholes, then continues past Tysshøl and finally approaches the Trolltunga, about 13.5 kilometers (8.4 miles) from the starting point in Skjeggedal.

In 2017, a new toll road opened to the public on a steep hillside to Mogelitope. It allows vehicles to reach the Mogelitopp plateau. It does not require a four-wheel drive vehicle. Due to the limited number of parking spaces, the maximum capacity is 30 cars per day. The road opens every day during the season at 6:00 am and closes when the first 30 cars enter the gates. Online booking is possible. The parking lot here costs 600 crowns. The road is also open to tourists, as an alternative to the usual starting point in Skeggedal.

Thousands of tourists visit Trolltung during the four summer months, and their number has increased significantly from 500 to 80,000 per year between 2009 and 2016. No railing was built on the edge of the cliff so as not to damage the natural beauty of the cliff, although several small metal hooks were installed as supports for descending to the rock.

On September 5, 2015, a 24-year-old Australian crashed to death near Trolltunga. It is believed to be the first recorded death from a fall there.

There are widely advertised photos of people hanging from the rock or standing on it. Most often they are manipulated. Elite climber Magnus Midtbo hanged himself on a trolltung in his seat belts, but the version where the rope was erased was distributed in the media.

Approaching and departing from Trolltung is a difficult hike, and it takes 10-12 hours to get there and back. In the following years, up to 40 rescue operations were conducted annually. It is surprising not because of the dangerous rock, but because of the difficult way back to Tissidal. People get lost in the fog, are injured during a hike or have no endurance for such a difficult trip.

Halfway between Trolltunga and Tissidal, it is planned to build a lodge that will provide accommodation for tourists coming from Trolltunga.

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