Hiking: A tradition over 200 years
Norwegians have always felt close to the many mountains stretching through the entire country. We have been hunting, fishing, farming and extracting iron. It was not until breaking from Denmark about 200 years ago the need to experience the nature itself sprung out. The romantic era reached Norway, and people went hiking in fjords and mountains, in love with their country. It became so popular, a group of men formed The Norwegian Trekking Association (NTA) in 1868 to facilitate the hiking experiences. NTA built 16 cabins in the mountains during the first 50 years.
After a while, more and more people also wanted to experience the snow covered mountains in winter. This was very much inspired by Norwegian explorer Fridjof Nansen’s expeditions on skis. The popularity caused NTA to keep the cabins open at winter.
A Hideout During WWII
During the war, NTA doubled their numbers. Hiking was regarded as a protest to the occupation to so many people that the nazi government had to censor NTA’s lectures about mountains and hiking.
When the war was over, the activity in the mountains exploded. The Tourist Association of Stavanger began their book about the front in the mountain with these words (translated from Norwegian):
“It was the mountain who helped us during the occupation. It was never as nice to meet fellow Norwegians up there during these years. We have never seen our country, Mother Norway, as we do now”
– We got our hiking culture, we learned to know our country, concluded Aftenposten
A City Surrounded by Mountains
Tromsø is blessed with mountains and nature right outside the doorstep. It will not take you more than a couple of minutes from you leave your house until you’ve already started climbing the mountain. This closeness is for many the reason they live here, and for many the reason to visit – both summer and winter.
The last years, hiking in the mountains has become more and more popular among visitors – and for a lot of them it’s the first time exploring the mountains. If you are looking for a hike that is both easy and provides fantastic views – check out this list by Nerd Nomads.
If you want a more challenging trip, we recommend having a look at this blog, by “Kugo” – a local enthusiast (Heads up: The blog is in Norwegian). Kugo’s goal is to be the first one to reach all mountains in Troms county that summits over 1000 meters over sea level. There are 666 of them!
Regardless if you are experienced or not, it is very important to know your own limits, and plan according to the weather.
The New National Sport
Mountain top tours during the winter is also getting more and more popular. Many will probably point out that this is nothing new, but during the last years the sport has spread very wide.
With the right equipment you can ski to the mountain top, where you detach your skins and slalom your way down – feeling free as never before. No one will tell you how fast to go, and you immerse yourself in the never dissapointing surroundings. Regardless if you are on your first or your 100th trip, you will feel a closeness to the nature that can’t be described.
As during the summer, Tromsø is also spoiled with endless mountains to go skiing on during the winter. The closest one only a couple of minutes away from the city. The area has both short and long tours, there will always be something suited for your experience level. In addition, we have snow in the mountains for a very long time – allowing you to go mountain top touring even in May.
If you are staying at Tromsø Lodge & Camping, you are placed right between beautiful mountains, and everything is facilitated for your wish to go touring before relaxing in your own private cabin.
If you are going mountain top touring, you have to prepare well. Especially in terms of the avalanche risk, as you have to be 100 % sure you are safe. Have a look at the Avalanche forecast, and ask local enthusiasts if you are unsure of the risk. The correct equipment could also be the difference between a good and a fantastic trip. If you need any help or tips, ask our receptionists – they are always prepared to help you get the best experience possible.
We hope that you get to experience what Tromsø has to offer, and we would love to hear your stories from hiking in the area. And remember, prepare – and be safe.