Do it for the Gram: Trolltunga

Savvy social media skills by the Norwegians has turned Trolltunga into one of the most shared, photographed, and ‘grammed landmark in the world. Several years ago, the region of Hordaland Norway was looking to drive copious tourism to their stunning lands. Armed with square photos, they encouraged local residents to start snapping photos at one of the most popular local hikes, a rock outcropping reaching like a tongue over a vast fjord – Trolltunga. As more people posted, more tourists came across this epic back drop and wondered how they too could achieve social media stardom while posing on this rugged expanse.

So how do you get the most renowned profile pic? Well first you need to get to Odda, Norway. The best way to do this is start in Bergen. You can reach Bergen for super cheap with Norwegian Airlines (I flew for $250 non stop from NYC). Once in Bergen, there is a way to go by public transport, but it involves a train or some buses and is real confusing. Just don’t do it. Rent a car.

Driving in Norway is easy and the ride is incredibly scenic. Plus you get to drive the car into a ferry to cross a fjord, and there’s a bridge that goes into the side of a mountain cave with a round about in the middle of the cave. Really f-in cool or I’m a weirdo who gets excited about strange things.

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Make sure to get GPS or print your Mapquest directions in advance. Or check out the photo below. Again, Norway is easy to drive.

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Fine, if you are still not into the driving thing, you can take Bus 930 from Bergen. Check out timetable here.

Once in Odda, make sure to settle down into a nice place to stay. We stayed at Hostel Trolltunga Studios (BOOK HERE) which was clean, and had great views of surrounding cliffs. Odda doesn’t reallllyyyy have much to do in terms of nightlife. There was a pizza place where snagged beers and food but that’s about it. So staying in a good hotel / hostel is key.

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As for getting to Trolltunga once in Odda there are two ways – hike or the Sky Ladder. In reality both involve hiking but the Sky Ladder is a much more adventurous and adrenaline pushing route. For both options you will need to leave early as they both involve long, active days, so rest up. Lucky for you, as mentioned before, Odda isn’t quite Vegas so you should have no issue.

Both hikes start in the small, small village of Skjeggedal, a short drive up a wild road from Odda. We did the Via Ferrata, so I can’t speak too the details of the regular trek. I know that it is well marked and easy to find the trailhead and subsequent trail from the Skjeggedal parking lot, and that it takes about 10 – 12 hours round trip. If you want to hike sans guide, check out this blog with more details.

The Via Ferrata absolutely requires hiring a guided tour. We went this route and strongly recommended going with Trolltunga Active (who also offers up guided hikes on the not insane Trolltunga trail). 

The day will begin with a mountain bike adventure alongside a fjord

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Then you will do some of hiking, about 2 hours of exciting rock scrambles.

Followed by an hour climbing up wrought iron poles drilled into the side of the rock wall, while harnassed into a safety wire that tracks alongside the iron runs. Something like this

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Real intense, and real exciting. Some stretches are straight 30m of ladder climbing before the next ledge. Thank god the Norwegians are engineering wunderkinds. It’s a bit freaky on the way up. Just wait until the way down.

After pushing it to the limit while contemplating just how much you know about Norwegian engineering competency, you arrive at the top and are awarded with one of the world’s most famous profile pictures – the tongue of the troll aka Trolltunga.

So in summary, here are the 7 steps to the best pic ever

Step 1: Fly to Bergen
Step 2: Rent car, drive to Odda
Step 3: Hike or free solo to the top of cliff
Step 4: Walk onto ledge
Step 5: Pose and take photo
Step 6: Post to Instagram / Snapchat / Facebook (if you’re over 45)
Step 7: Watch the likes roll in
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