Mountaineering and Mountain Peaks
Hiking up mountain tops is a very popular activity in Norway, amongst locals and tourists alike. In Norwegian, the concept goes by the term ”topptur”, which directly translates to (mountain) top trip. The term is widely used. Still, the definition of it is somewhat unspecific.
So – what do we really mean when we say mountain top tours, mountaineering, mountain peak hikes, or “topptur” if you like?
Where as the Norwegian word “topptur” is often used to describe the winter activity where skiers climb to a snow-capped peak, in order to go skiing down again, in English that same activity is usually referred to as ski touring or backcountry skiing. However, the “topptur” is by no means limited to the winter season only. Neither is the “topptur” a protected term, and what people put into it can be just about as different as the people themselves. The best word in English would probably be mountaineering, a word that also covers a wide variety of mountain activities.
However, one thing is certain; a mountaintop trip is a journey aimed at bringing the tourist up to the peak of a mountain.
For some, having 300 meters of solid rock underneath their feet will qualify as a mountain peak hike, given that they are in fact at the the very top. Others however, require it to be at least a thousand meters, in order for them to count it as a proper mountain top, and not just a regular hike in the mountains. Regardless of the altitude however, it usually lies within the term that a mountain top trip should be of the more challenging kind – and the level of difficulty is not necessarily affected by altitude. For instance, Norway and Northern Europe’s highest mountain, Galdhøpiggen, with its 2469 meters, is a fitting hike for both children and adults. There are many far lower, but still far more challenging peaks, which have to be climbed to get to the top, and therefor are best suited for highly experienced hikers and mountain climbers.
A challenge is however, is to understand what most people are looking for when embarking on a hike up a mountainside. A mountain peak hike is therefore often a journey that requires something of one self, and so it is most often about hiking up mountains with a steep climb and distinct peaks- not mountains without significant climb, which one can simply “stroll” up on with no particular effort necessary.
Anyway – what exactly lies in the term is not essential. What matters is what you get out of the trip. And for anyone who isn’t a mountain goat, who lives their life on steep mountainsides – embarking on a hike up to a peak is an opportunity to challenge oneself, and test one’s limits. And by putting time, dedication and effort into something that – literally – will take you to new heights, you will find it rewarding in more ways than one, when you reach your goal.
Not only will you experience a wonderful sense of accomplishment- you might also have to put your boundaries to the test, and experience the kind of personal growth that can only come from stepping outside the safety of your comfort zone. That itself is a great reward for your effort, but one is also rewarded with the most spectacular views. There is something quite unique – almost intoxicating – about standing there, on the “top of the world”, seeing it from a perspective one rarely does.
One can almost say that the mountaineering is an escape from “reality” and the everyday hustle and bustle, which can provide new energy, and bring forth a strong sense of happiness, lightness (in a positive sense), and a profound inner peace. Seeing the world lie there beneath you, so big, beautiful and peaceful, can really put life into perspective, and easily make everyday problems seem small and insignificant.
On top of all (no pun intended!), fresh air, exercise and outdoor-activities are good for both body and soul. We know – it’s almost too good to be true!
Read more on our mountaineering and mountain peak tours:
For more options, see all our excursions.