Those that have been regularly following our not so regularly posted adventures, must remember THE misadventure with the Gaustatoppen climb.

Those that do not, here’s a small reminder. So, it was mid pandemic time in 2020, if anybody remembers that? 🤣 and there was not much to do. We already did plenty of local hikes and a baby 🤭 It was just weeks after we found about the pregnancy that we decided to do a one day trip to Rjukan to visit the Heavy water plant museum and hike the nearing mountain as well.

The idea about the visit was great, but the hike not so much. Looking now it was a stupid idea. Due to the general misinformation and our sheer ignorance, we did not take in count the possibility of snow on the mounting. It was May, how was there to be snow?

And then we saw this ➡️ a mountain covered in snow 🤦

Yeah, forget about the climb. However, at that point I promised myself to come back one day and hike the mountain. Guess what? We did! And we came with the one that was there with us in 2020 but hiding 🤰.

Since M was not much of a walker those days (he was year and a half) we decided to ride up to the top of the mountain and hike down with the little one in the carrier.

Approaching the mountain

The general plan was to have a weekend adventure – ride to Rjukan, climb the mountain, sleep over and come back.

Having in mind the failure last time, we decided to go mid-August as there was low possibility of snow and good possibility of nice and sunny weather.

Long summer days in Norway meant we can have plenty of time to do the hike (people even do night hikes hikes as the sun sets down – never 😆) but I was still looking at the web cams for weeks, days and hours prior to the trip.

You can never be too sure 😆

The date was set, the car and accommodation were booked, and the equipment and baby packed. We set in the car around noon on a Saturday, ready for a 3 hours drive and M’s poor nap. But that turned to be a blessing afterwards as he fell asleep during the descent, which made the hike less demanding.

The foothill and parking space with cable car entrance

Gaustatoppen is the highest mountain in Vestold og Telemark county. Soaring 1883 meters above the sea level, it provides you with the majestic view of the 1/6th of Norway! Pretty epic, aint it?

Since the mountain is a skiing and hiking destination it was needed to be available to anyone. So, the tunnel was dug and a funicular was put in motion.

Gaustabanen is a battery-powered carriage on rails that transports passengers approx. 850 meters horizontally into the mountain.

The railway was actually built for military purposes.

Back in the early 1950s, the railway track was originally intended for tourists. But when NATO found out about the plans, and remember this was the Cold War period, the building of the railway became a military and top-secret project. Completed almost a decade later, the tracks were used to carry personnel and equipment up to the NATO radio station at the top. The secretly secret was reviled not long ago, just little over 10 years ago, back in 2010.

In those past 13 years the railway has been used primary to transport over 75 000 visitors yearly and to supply the Gaustahytta on top of the mountain.

Few hundred meters more up the stairs, sits the tourist cabin Gaustahytta. The all local stone built cabin was constructed in 1892 at the cost of then 10 000 Norwegian kroner.

Hundred years later the cabin underwent the expansion and interior renovation and it’s now used for serving simple foods like sandwiches, waffles and warm and cold drinks.

Wind blowing like crazy and chilly but definitely worth the ride. Not the climb 😆


The top 200 meters of Gaustatoppen is made of huge masses of rock held in place thanks to the permafrost. There are no trees, just some small bushes that sheep are enjoying.

Not the easiest hike, definitely, especially if you’re carrying a baby on your back. Luckily, the day was sunny, but not too hot and the M was sleeping.

The beautiful view along the way made the experience even more special. One absolute truth about Norway is that nature and scenery are gorgeous.

Since the hike started from the top of the mountain and our car was at the foothill of Gaustatoppen, 4 kilometers away from where we ended, we relied on the shuttle bus passing by to return back where we started from.

The bus stop

A short ride to Rjukan where our accommodation and dinner location were waiting for us was relaxing after a long adventurous day. Tomorrow new adventures awaits for us. But first some French fries and a beer 🙂


You may also like