Photo: Ferdinand Stohr on Unsplash
Fjord Tours Articles / 11 Mar 2020

Mountaineering in Norway for Beginners

Norway is home to a variety of stunning landscapes. From Fjords to the vast, snowy white Arctic, there is something for everyone. But, for those looking for a physical challenge and breathtaking views, exploring the impressive mountain ranges within the country might be the best place to start.

If you have limited experience with mountaineering (also referred to as mountain climbing) don’t worry. There are plenty of ways for beginners to get their feet wet in Norway. If you’re traveling to Norway and are looking to explore mountaineering for the first time, here’s everything you need to know!

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Photo: Matti Bernitz

Practice Makes Perfect

One of the most challenging parts of mountain climbing can be dealing with the elements. Weather at high altitudes is notoriously unpredictable and, if you’re a beginner, this can be quite dangerous. So, start by getting comfortable with a few practice runs at the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre located in Åndalsnes. You can book an Introduction to Climbing class at the centre and try out the indoor climbing wall with the help of an experienced instructor. This class is suitable for all levels of experience and both adults and children are welcome so it’s an activity the whole family can enjoy. You can book this group lesson for up to six people.

An introductory mountain climbing class isn’t all you can do at the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre. The centre is also home to a museum exhibit that walks visitors through the history and development of mountaineering, from the first ascent of Romsdalshorn in 1828 to the modern era. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the interactive nature of the exhibit.

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Photo: ©Trolltunga Active

After all that climbing and learning, you’ll definitely be ready for some eating and maybe a little shopping too! Grab a bite to eat at the centre’s cafe and restaurant, Spiret Spiseri. We recommend choosing a table by the water to enjoy the view of Romsdalfjord and the surrounding mountains. On your way out, stop by the gift shop for a souvenir.

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Photo: Mattias Fredriksson/Fjord Norway

Head Outdoors

Now that you’ve got a little bit of experience under your belt, you might want to consider tackling your first real climb! A great place to start is with one of Norway’s most popular attractions. Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, is a massive cliff towering 604 meters above the beautiful Lysefjord.

There are a number of options for hiking tours of Preikestolen. For those looking to do the hike with a guide, there are several options. If you would prefer a quieter and more peaceful experience, you can select the Sunrise Tour. This hike will have you leaving basecamp very early in the morning and it will allow you to experience the trails with less traffic. You’ll reach the peak before the crowds do, making the experience even more special. The Off The Beaten Path Hike will take you along a route that is off the map allowing you to avoid crowds on the mountain.

The Pulpit Rock hike is also available in the Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) & Norway in a Nutshell® tour which can be started from Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger. Want to see a preview of what you’re in for. Check out scenes from Fjord Norways’ take on Mission Impossible featuring some beautiful scenes from Preikestolen.

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Photo: Outdoorlife Norway

Safety & Preparation

Mountain climbing can be dangerous. So, it’s important to always keep safety top of mind and ensure that you and your travel companions are always well-prepared for your hikes. This means, make sure that you have done your research on the route you are looking to tackle and feel confident that your fitness and skill levels will allow you to safely complete the route. It’s also important to pack the necessary food, water, and equipment that you will need on the day or days of your mountaineering expedition. Finally, make sure to inform someone of where you are going before you head out on your hike. That way, if an emergency arises and you need help, rescue teams will know where to find you.

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Photo: Ernst Riha

Mountaineering is an incredible way to experience Norway’s breathtaking landscapes. If you’re a beginner, there are plenty of resources available to help you develop the skills you need to take on a beautiful outdoor route. If you’re looking for tips for your next mountaineering adventure, check our great climbing tours HERE!

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Photo: Friluftslek