Galdhøpiggen

Galdhøpiggen (English: Galdhø Peak) is the highest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia and Northern Europe, at 2,469 m (8,100 ft) above sea level. It is located within the municipality of Lom (in Oppland), in the Jotunheimen mountain area.

“Galdhøpiggen” means "the peak/spike (piggen) of the mountain “Galdhø”. The first registered ascent was done In 1850 by three local men from Lom, the guide Steinar Sulheim, the local teacher L. Arnesen and the church warden S. Flaatten.

Access to the top of Galdhøpiggen is not especially hard: From Juvasshytta (1850 mtrs, 5 km from the summit) it takes about three hours up (including about 45 minute to prepare for crossing the “Styggebreen” glacier), an hour at the top and about two hours back.

Some days in the summer, a few hundred people reach the summit each day. Guides are needed to cross the glacier, but are available every summer morning.

Galdhøpiggen can also be hiked from the “Spiterstulen” Lodge in Visdalen, with a technically very easy, but still somewhat strenuous climb of 1300 mtrs. It takes four hours walk up, two hours down. From Spiterstulen, hikers do not have to cross the “Styggebreen” glacier, and hence a guide is not required. Ardent peak-baggers may count three summits on the route from Spiterstulen: “Svellnose”, “Keilhaus topp” and the summit itself.

At Juvasshytta there is an alpine ski resort with lift on a glacier, with top on 2200 mtrs, the highest in Scandinavia. It is called “Galdhøpiggen summer ski center” and is open from June and all the summer, when the road is open.

At the summit a small cabin has been built. In the summer soft drinks, chocolate bars, postcards and other items are sold here. Earlier the Norwegian Postal Authority had a small post office here — being the highest in Northern Europe.

The deep blue “Bessvatn” lies close by. Between “Gjende” and “Bessvatn”, a marked path crosses the narrow “Besseggen Ridge”, one of the most familiar attractions of the Norwegian mountains. It was here that Peer Gynt had his wild reindeer ride along the "Gjendin Ridge".

Access to Besseggen is not too strenuous, about six hours, take the boat from Gjendesheim to Memurbu, and walk the Besseggen Ridge back.

(Source: Wikipedia.org and Lom Tourist Information)