The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 28 July 2017

Waterfalls in Hardangervidda Nasjonalpark

As we drove 2.3km up a minor road to a car park this morning, I thought I was taking us to some more walks that are off the tourist trail. Indeed, I didn't even know what the options were from this car park, with the shortest route on the App being more than 80km.

We arrived to find a car park full of foreign vehicles. So much for off-the-tourist-trail! Rather, it seemed that we were the only tourists without knowledge of what lay up here.

A look at the map displayed in the car park suggested to me the best option was a route that visited three waterfalls (because we haven't seen enough waterfalls lately*...). A quick reckoning with the displayed scale was that the entire route would be about 4km, but having learnt my lesson about how slow going the terrain can be, I did pack some lunch, even though it was only 10.30.

Fall No. 1

There didn't seem to be that much movement in the car park before we set out, yet only a couple of minutes up the road we found ourselves passing oodles of people. I expect that some of them went no further than the first fall.

A track had taken us up to the first fall, but from there we were onto paths that were predominantly rocky, but often muddy and rooty.

Heading up the pipeline of a hydro works

From the top of the hydro line, looking at some of the huge rock faces that line the west side of the valley

Fall No. 2

Fall No. 3

Lunch was had in a very attractive spot, on a big lump of rock alongside the river, with a clear view of Fall No 3. Lunch, incidentally, was what we refer to as 'tinned child':

Look how evenly I managed to cut that bread! A rarity.

Looking at the map on my phone as we ate, I thought there was one more fall we could visit, so instead of turning back after eating, on we went. Just as I was beginning to think that I'd dragged Mick further up hill under false pretences, out we popped into this landscape:

A way had to be picked across rock, and through the boggy wallows that sat between them, before we came out at this fine view of Fall No 4:

With the cloud having lifted considerably since we set out, we could see all the way back down to the fjord too:

A different route was taken most of the way back to Fall No 3, sticking to the side of the river until we were standing at the top of the fall, looking down on where we had lunched. Back towards our outward route we then went and, after a bit of a scramble, we found ourselves on a much better, rocky, route than the muddy line we had followed earlier.

Our expectation had then been a retracing of steps, but on reaching a fork in the path where a tree trunk (over which we had stepped on our outward leg) lay across one of the paths, we took it as an indication that we should take the other. Fifty metres later we came out onto a dirt road...

...and found that we were perfectly happy to stride down the easy road, rather than pick our way down the rocks and roots of our upwards path.

The final stats for our little 4km bimble were 12.5km walked with around 650m ascent.

(*For anyone who has not read my other blog at that comment was typed with my tongue firmly in my cheek. Norway does a wide and varied line in waterfalls.)


  1. I'm still breakfasting with you. All very impressive.

  2. "pipeline of a hydro works" = penstock