Galdhoppigen Hike from Spiterstulen

Drive up to Jotunheimen, Norway

To reach and do Galdhoppigen hike from Spiterstulen, you unfortunately need to see amazing sights on the way there. Here are few (of many) reasons to visit Jotunheimen in Norway:

  • Sognefjellet
  • Spiterstulen
  • Highest mountain in Northern Europe: Galdhøpiggen

I recently made a Youtube video about Jotunheimen, so be sure to check it out:

I am not sorry about the (un)funny stuff. Here is how we constructed our trip to Jotunheimen. Here is how to do Galdhoppigen hike from Spiterstulen.

Driving through Sognefjellet to Jotunheimen

I 100% recommend using this route on the warmer months when it is open. It had snow on September so be vary of the conditions when driving.

Sognefjellet, snow in september

Suddenly we had snow everywhere in September.

Small cabin in Sognefjellet

If you are in a hurry, do not drive this road, it’s slow. On the way, you will drive past Sognefjellshytta which resides 1400 meters above the sea level.

Setting up for the Galdhøpiggen hike

There is two ways to hike up to the Galdhøpiggen in Jotunheimen, Norway: Guided tour from Juvasshytta or by yourself from Spiterstulen. On this post, I will cover the latter since that’s what we did. Some info about the Galdhøpiggen hike from Spiterstulen:

  • There is 1400 meters elevation gain, so you need to be in good physical condition
  • On the later half of the hike the trail basically transforms to big rocks on the ground which may be slippery if there is snow.
  • Always follow the trail marked with red “T”, there are some big drops.
  • Watch the weather forecast. Even though Galdhøpiggen is not too high (2469 meters), you can be caught in a bad weather.

The hike took us about 7 hours (But there was a twist…) + the approach with car so be sure to reserve a full day.

Getting to Spiterstulen was pretty straightforward: Google maps is your friend. The road toll costs 100 NOK to drive there and parking costs 50 NOK. Road toll is paid on the machine near the parking place before you leave and the parking in the reception when you arrive. After that you are set for Galdhoppigen hike from Spiterstulen!

Reaching Highest point of Northern Europe: Galdhøpiggen Hike from Spiterstulen

Disclaimer: you are about to take information from a person who never actually reached the top of the Galdhøpiggen. Okay, chill out, I was pretty close. We were there in the start of September, but I think Summer months could have been better. Here is how it went:

Park to the Spiterstulen hytta, start the trail which is on the right-hand side when you arrive. There is one sign that says Galdhøpiggen, after that you should just follow the red “T” markings on the rocks.

Spiterstulen parking place
Sights from the parking place

After the route starts right off steep and we were like “Ok, now we are talking. This is hard, but still enjoyable”. We ate couple of sandwiches straight away since we only ate cereal for breakfast (I know, a boss hiker move). After a while the trail stops being a trail and starts being mostly just big rocks. Snow starts to show up and we start saying things like “We must be getting closer”. We also think that the top is the one we can see at the moment. Our legs start to get heavy, but we still push on since we are so close. After we get to the “top”, new top emerges… Oh crap…

Not Galdhoppigen
A new top?

Weather starts to get bad and the trail worse. We are seriously under-prepared, with our clothes, water and food. I say something stupid like “Look the top is only something like 15 minutes away”…

1.5 Hours later on the snow, rock, strong wind and -5 degrees Celsius, we arrive to the new top. Both of us are totally broken and having a bad mood, but we did it! We cannot see more than 10 meters in front of us, but we are here, yay. I find some candy in my backpack and life is good again. We start our slippery journey down and arrive at the car 7 hours after we started the hike. Completely broken, but happy that we did it.

Did we do it though? We read on the internet that there is supposed to be sun dial on the top, but we did not see no sun dial. Crap.

Turns out we were on a top just before Galdhøpiggen: Keilhaus topp.

What we learned: do not underestimate smaller mountains in terms of challenge and the weather. We have experience climbing the same size mountains in the Central Europe, so we thought that this would be a ride in a park and went to the hike under prepared. Also, go for the hike in July or something, the hike will be more pleasant.

Looking now two weeks later at our Galdhoppigen Hike from Spiterstulen, I am really glad that we did it and pushed ourselves to the wrong top. We learned a lot more than in perfect setting and the hike itself is now a good and funny memory. All the memories from it are now mostly good.

Ya boi, Mostly Good

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