The Nordic High 5 challenge is on!
The general idea of the Scandinavian Summits project is to inspire and stimulate people of all ages and groups to reach all five summits of the highest peaks in every of the five Nordic countries.
The idea is quite simple. Study, prepare and walk up until you reach the top of the highest point of every Scandinavian country. We concluded that this can be possible for many people who bring a solid basic fitness and are curious to explore the remote areas of the diverse landscapes.
On this platform, we will roll out all history and special features of each summit. How to reach the region, how to prepare for the trip and how to actually take on the hike.
We award the successful attempt of all 5 summits during a period of 5 years with the diploma “Nordic High 5”. This requires registration of your hike travelog and a proof of fulfilment, such as a photo of video of your summit picture.
We soon will publish the frame work for this project.
The crown jewel of the Scandinavian Summits is without a doubt the Norwegian peak Galdhöpiggen.
It is not only the highest mountain i Norway but also the highest peak in northern Europe. The mountain is located in Jotunheimen, which means the ”home of the giants”. And there are truly some giants in the area. In all there are 24 peaks in Jotunheimen that reach over 2000 meter. The Jotunheimen Nationalpark is a majestic area famous for its high mountains, numerous waterfalls, deep valleys and big glaciers.
You can ascend the 2340 meter high Galdhöpiggen from either the east or from the north. If you take the eastern route you start off from the Spiterstulen hut. You can actually drive by car to the parking lot at Spiterstulen where the trail starts. The trail is steep and long but don’t require any climbing skills. If you prefer to take the northern trail from Juvashytta you will have to cross a big glacier and that’s why you can’t ascend without a guide. Regardless of which route you choose you will get a fantastic experience with magnificent scenery. The ascent only requires god stamina and being familiar with the outdoors.
The easiest way to get to Galdhöpiggen is by car and it is very comfortable because you can start your ascend right from the parking lots at Juvashytta and Spiterstulen. But bare in mind that travelling by car in Norway might be a little slow because of the narrow and winding roads following the beautiful fjords.
To stand in the Ladjovagge valley and look up at Kebnekaise is a breath taking experience.
To your left you have Tuolpagorni, 1662 meter high with its black, vertical south face in the foreground. Behind it you see the whole Kebnekaise massif rising over 2000 meter high. All around you there are steep mountain walls, snow covered peaks, deep valleys with rapid mountain streams. It is hard to believe that you actually are in Sweden.
To climb the 2097 meter high South Summit of Kebnekaise is not a simple task. Although the first person to do it in the year 1883, did it wearing only his long johns. The french Charles Rabot had just gone for a reconnaissance climb and that’s why he did not wear any pants. But the weather was beautiful so he kept on climbing and suddenly to his surprise he reached the peak, still in his underwear. But you will be better off wearing both long johns and your trousers while climbing the South Summit.
You can do it either by the Eastern Route, which crosses the Björling glacier and is a little more demanding. That route also includes a steep via ferrata-section where you have to use climbing gear. You should not attempt the Eastern Route without a guide. The second route to the top is the Western Route. It is a bit longer (9km) and quite demanding but does not include any actual climbing. But the scenery on both trails is fantastic. At the top you have a magnificent view over the entire landscape and it is said that on a clear sunny day you can see almost 10 % of all Sweden.
Iceland is the magic island of fairy-tales and volcanoes in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
Of all the Scandinavian Summits, Hvannadalshnjukur is probably the most exiting and thrilling to climb. The mountain is in fact a sleeping volcano. The peak is 2110 meter high and at most parts covered by the vast Öraefajökull-glacier. The volcano has not had an eruption since the year 1727, but last fall the Icelandic Meteorological Institute had noted some increased activity in the mountain.
The Hvannadalshnjukur is located in the vast Vatnajökull Nationalpark and the trail to the top starts at the parking lot by the guide-office. To climb the mountain you have to follow a guided tour. The ascend starts with steep rocky slopes but after a while you reach the glacier and the going gets a little easier. The views from the trail are astonishing and from the peak itself you can see all the way to the ocean. But then you have to have luck with the weather. And that is not always easy on Iceland. It rains over 200 days per year on the magic island.
But rain or shine, climbing the highest volcano on Iceland will be an experience you will remember the rest of your life.
Not every peak in the Scandinavian Summits is difficult to reach or is a physical challenge.
The Danish highest point, Möllehöj is such a place. With its modest height of 170 meters it instead offers a cosy experience and the possibility to enjoy the beautiful Danish countryside. Möllehöj is located in Eastern Jylland between the towns of Aarhus and Vejle. The surroundings have both rural charm and offer culture and historical sights.
To reach the highest point in Denmark you actually take your car and drive southbound from Aarhus by the Östjyske-highway. When you see the sign to Ejer Bavnehöj you take a right turn and leave the highway. After less than one mile there is a sign to Möllehöj. But be observant, it is easy to miss the highest point because it is actually behind a cow-house. But do not hesitate, the cows are said to be nice and friendly. The area surrounding Möllehöj is most beautiful and typical Danish countryside.
Möllehöj is without a doubt the easiest to ascend of all the five Scandinavian Summits. But it differs in a lovely way from the other peaks. The most difficult part of getting up to Möllheöj is to find the right exit from Östjyske Highway. But when you find it, the rest is surely just a walk in the park.
Far up north in Finland, close to the Norwegian border the Halti-mountain stands, high and mighty.
According to the tales of the Laplanders, the mountain is actually an old and powerful man. Halti was the chief of all the giants living in the area. It stands 1324 meter high and is surrounded by other high mountains and big swamps. Halti is far from both roads and settlement, surrounded only by the vast and silent wilderness.
To get to the top is not in any way a difficult task. The slopes are covered with rocks but they are not particularly steep. The tough part is getting to the mountain along a 50 km long trail. It is a magnificent hike that usually takes two whole days but is certainly worth the effort. The route to Halti follows the old North Calotte-trail used by the Laplanders and trappers since ancient times. The silent and vast wilderness gives you time for your inner thoughts and gives many a peaceful state of mind, rarely experienced in the modern world. Do the trip among good friends and feel the spirit of comradeship, which gives you both pleasure and energy.
The old man Halti can offer you beautiful weather, rain, storm and snow all during the same day. So be prepared for all kind of conditions even in the summertime. But the barren wilderness is worth every strain you make. It is easy to fall in love with the old man Halti.