7-fjellsturen: a hike of seven mountains

Bergen’s annual mountain hike rewards thousands with marvellous views of the city

Photo: Jan’s fotoside / Wikimedia Commons The view of Bergen’s Vågen bay from Mt Fløyen, one of the seven hills visited.

Photo: Jan’s fotoside / Wikimedia Commons
The view of Bergen’s Vågen bay from Mt Fløyen, one of the seven hills visited.

Molly Andrus
Norwegian American Weekly

Thousands of Norwegians are ready to take to the beautiful mountains of Bergen for a challenging journey on Sunday, May 25. The Seven Mountains Hike, called 7-fjellsturen in Norwegian, is an annual event organized by the Bergen Trekking Association (Bergen Turlag).

Attracting around 8,000 participants each year, the Seven Mountains Hike is the biggest single event of the Norwegian Trekking Association (Den Norske Turistforening). The marked trail is approximately 35 kilometers, with a high point around 640 meters, and an elevation gain around 2,400 meters. The average participant in the Seven Mountains Hike reaches the finish line in eight hours. In other words, this is not an event for inexperienced hikers!

The hikers will meet early in the morning at Gravdal, a neighborhood in Bergen’s Laksevåg district. The trail will then lead the thousands of participants through Bergen’s seven mountains, starting with Lyderhorn and ending with Sandviksfjellet. Here are the seven mountains and their elevations:
1. Lyderhorn (396 meters)
2. Damsgårdsfjellet (350 meters)
3. Løvstakken (477 meters)
4. Ulriken (640 meters)
5. Fløyfjellet (400 meters)
6. Rundemannen (560 meters)
7. Sandviksfjellet (417 meters)

The highlights of the journey include the view of Bergen from Løvstakken and the sights from the highest point at Ulriken, according to Norway’s hike-planning website UT.no.

After defeating the mountains, the participants will end at the Bergen Trekking Association’s headquarters, right in Bergen’s city center.

For those who feel that the Seven Mountains Hike is a bit too strenuous, there is also a Four Mountains Hike (4-fjellsturen) available. This trail starts at the Årstad school at Danmarksplass, skipping the first three mountains of the full hike.

At the finish line, all hikers receive a t-shirt and a diploma to celebrate their perseverance. First-time participants are honored with a bronze plaque. The Bergen Trekking Association celebrates Seven Mountains Hike veterans with special prizes:
• Silver plaque for seven years
• Gold plaque for 14 years
• Bronze trophy for 21 years
• Silver trophy for 28 years
• Gold trophy for 35 years

Over the years, 28 individuals have been awarded a gold trophy! In addition, six have received a diploma for 42 years of participation. In 2010, Seven Mountains Hike enthusiast Arvid Bjørsvik was awarded a diploma for 49 years. Now that is dedication!

The Seven Mountains Hike began in 1948, with 206 participants. The event grew in popularity throughout the twentieth century, but has really taken off since 2000.

Interestingly, the Seven Mountains Hike is not a timed event. This may seem unusual to an American, because the majority of recreational events in the United States are focused on competing. But the hike is not a competition; it is an invitation to experience the nature of Bergen. The Bergen Trekking Association’s website notes, “If you love walking and hiking and would like to experience Bergen, the fjords, and the west coast of Norway from the bird’s eye view, then participating in this trekking adventure might be your cup of tea.”

In case participants are feeling a bit out of shape after the long winter, the Bergen Trekking Association is organizing training sessions on the Tuesdays leading up to event.

Year after year, Norwegians return to the seven mountains to experience Bergen at its finest. What better way to celebrate the beauty of Norway following Syttende Mai?

For more information about the Seven Mountains Hike, visit www.bergenoghordalandturlag.no/7-fjellsturen/.

This article originally appeared in the May 9, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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