Camping on Lyngstuva and hiking Rørnestinden – 6th of August 2020
In summer 2020, Nevin and I spent two weeks hiking and backpacking in the Arctic Circle in Norway.
It is already 2 in the afternoon when we start our hike up Rørnestinden, a 1’041m peak in the Lyngen Alps in Norway. The previous night we camped on the most northern point of the Lyngstuva peninsula, where we pitched our tent on a high spot over the ocean. With only water and islands as far as the eye can see up North, the midnight sun treated us to quite the show. In the morning we lingered at our campsite, soaking up the morning sun. Time flew as we sipped instant coffee and watched a seal play in the waves lower down
That morning, after breaking camp, we take the long way back to the car, checking out the small lighthouse at the very tip of the peninsula and the hut standing next to it. Upon entering the hut, we are delighted to discover a very charming and rustic atmosphere. With a small attic accessible through a ladder to sleep upstairs, a wooden stove in a corner and a little pile of books, you can stay there overnight. The shelves are filled with non-perishable food left by visitors for the next ones. After this pleasant discovery, we make our way back. By deciding to stay close to the shore, we have to navigate boulders, which makes the progress slower but we are having a lot of fun. Back at the car, we drive in the direction of Rørnestinden, and look for a grocery store. Lunch is a feast of bread, norwegian cheese and fenalår (which we discovered afterwards is a traditional Norwegian cured meat made from salted and dried lamb) before we finally set out on our hike.
It’s an understatement to say that hiking in Norway is not a stroll in the park: literally 10m after leaving the trailhead, we come across a dodgy wooden bridge, one end of which consists of fallen trees. I take my time to cross, unwilling to end up in the river and have wet feet that early in the hike. Then, halfway up the hike, we lose the trail, so Nevin decides the easiest way is to go straight up the mountain towards the summit (which is anyway what most “trails” seem to do in Norway, switchbacks are for lazy people…). Navigating small rockfalls and somewhat steep grassy parts, the afraid-of-heights version of myself soon takes over. This leads to some heated exchanges with Nevin, but fortunately we quickly gain the ridge and find back the trail.
The last 300m of elevation to the summit are constituted of what looks like only rocks piled on top of each other to create this huge hill. At the top, the view on the fjords, a mere 1’000m straight below us, is impressive. We can also see ominous clouds rolling in and as we still have a long drive to go back to the cottage we are renting, we descend the mountain in record time. But before hitting the road we treat ourselves to a well-deserved 7PM ice cream.