THE TRAIL


Norge på langs (or NPL) – Norway Lengthwise. From the top to the bottom of Norway. Or vice versa. There is no given route. Hike your own hike. Whether you want to cut across Sweden or not, walk inland or closer to the coast – the choice is yours.

 

When I was hiking the E1 from Nordkapp to Sicily, without knowing back then (I only found out later about NPL), I was already doing roughly two thirds of the length of Norway (the green line on the map on the right), before making my down Sweden towards Denmark.

From Nordkapp to Roros, roundabout 2000 kilometers. The time spent on E1 in Norway was, looking back, the best of my whole 8000 kilometers E1 adventure. The scenery, the remoteness, being at the mercy of the elements, but also the people I met along the way – they all made my time in Norway unforgettable. There’d be so much to write about my time up there, but I don’t want to waffle on at this point. There is plenty of reading material here and here for those interested.

 

Since I have all these great memories, why not returning to this wonderful place and completing the length of Norway? Picking this low hanging fruit. From Roros to Lindesnes. Another 1000 kilometers to Norway’s southernmost point. Roughly following the yellow track on the map on the right, using https://ut.no/kart to plot the route.

 

Weather and temperature wise, I already have a rough idea what to expect. Warmer temperatures in the valleys, temperatures around freezing level in the mountains. High chances of rain showers, maybe even a bit of snow. As I have made good experiences with my gear on E1, I'll mostly stick to it. For the sake of comfort, I'll be carrying a warmer down jacket though. 

Green: already completed parts of E1/EPL

Red: already completed parts of E1

Yellow: not yet completed parts of NPL



Route

For the sake of completness, the route description includes the parts already hiked  (the green line on the map above).

 

From the Nordkapp, the official starting (or ending) point of NPL, the trail leaves Magerøya via the Nordkapp tunnel. The trail soon enough drifts away from the coastline and follows inland through the sparse Finmark landscape to Kautokeino. These first few days are mostly flat, easy going with some interesting river crossings. Expect tons of mosquitoes during the summer months!

From Kautokeino, my NPL follows the amazing Reisa River towards the Finnish border, where the terrain gets rockier. Passing the Three-Country Point (Sweden, Norway, Finnland), E1 follows the Norwegian-Swedish border for its remaining distance. The stretch between Abisko and Sulitjelma along the Nordkalottleden is especially remote. Expect plenty of snow and adventurous bridges (where there are). The spectacular landscape makes it very rewarding though.

Soon enough, NPL crosses the polar circle and first farms appear along the way. Pine trees mix into the dominating birch forest.

The terrain gets wetter and once in Børgefjell/Byrkjie Nationalpark, expect long days through very boggy terrain. Markings do not exist and navigation is by map and compass or GPS.

 

NPL continues to be remote and challenging to navigate as there are plenty of stretches without any markings and/or visible tracks. The somewhat official E1 trail notes, good maps and GPS are supporting me to plot a suitable route through the wilderness. Again, step, technical parts are few and far between. Yet, plenty of river crossings add a bit of spiciness.

 

These are the bits I have hiked so far. The following part lies ahead of me. A part which seems to be remaining mountainous and sparse after Røros. Only the couple of valley I will briefly descent into will add some change, hopefully giving me a sense of civilization and comfort.  These valleys are the places to resupply as well. Initially, at least. As I get closer to the sea, still primarily staying up in the mountains crossing many of Norway's National Parks, I will drop down to the fjords every now and then for my resupply and to charge my body's and my devices' batteries. Generally, I try to resupply every five to seven days. Not that easy and often involving detours. Once out of the mountains, it's a bit of road and forest walk down to Lindesnes.


photos

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