Torghatten in Helgeland – a hike into the past
We are on the journey through the enchanting, mystical, legendary, diverse, … Helgeland in the Nordland and stop at the widely visible Torghatten near Brønøysund on the island of Torget. Just arrived, this legendary place will envelop its surroundings in a wet haze. But our three-year-old daughter clings to me with her little safety rope and we start a short and demanding hike up a mountain that was once a hat.
The Helgeland is currently still a little insider tip for many, too remote and only to travel with numerous ferries is not on the classic routes in Norway. But we are so excited about the diversity this region has to offer. And so we are now in a small parking lot near the Hurtigruten docking station Brønnøysund, in front of Torghatten.
The 256-meter-high Torghatten, which is impressive in its striking shape, is visible from afar. The big hole in the mountain is striking. In the middle, about 35 meters high, it attracts people almost magically.
But once you get to the parking lot, some will find that they prefer to look at the hole of the Torghatten from a distance. Because on the one hand there is rain every now and then in Norway, today it is that time again. On the other hand, the approximately 30-minute hike up to the Torghatten hole is challenging and can only be done with non-slip and proper hiking shoes. We also have these with us, even our little one has her first hiking shoes and a dad who has always loved to move around in the countryside and has taken one or two tours in Norway.
For inexperienced users, I would like to strongly advise against taking this tour with young children. The often voluntary mountain rescuers are now quite annoyed when they have to rescue tourists with bad clothes, shoes and hypothermic babies and toddlers on demanding routes. The descents are usually much more difficult than the ascents.
An approximately two meter long safety rope connects my daughter to me, so she can not fall over the edges, even if they are perhaps only one or two meters deep. We now run excitedly, first on a path, then within a stream and then on a rough staircase. But it will soon be exciting, because we take the path up to Torghatten between huge, edgy boulders. Step by step. The increasing rain makes the stones slippery.
The hikers who are coming towards us are not looking bad when they watch our daughter climb the Torghatten. After about 30 minutes we arrived at the top of the Torghatten. The passage is about 160 meters long and looks like a small cathedral.
The passage on the other side to the sea is seductive, but we stay on the only path we came. Because there is also a downward trend, but unmanageable.
A hole in Torghatten and how it came about
Now the scientists and the writers are arguing about the formation of this impressive hole in Torghatten. Because we want to make both heard, we tell the really worth reading Say about the Torghatten here.
The scientific version goes like this:
After the last cold period (about 11,700 years ago) the huge glaciers were slowly but surely melting. They had pushed down everything they could with their weight. But with the disappearance of the glaciers, the landscape could breathe again and expand upwards.
In this case one speaks of the post-glacial land uplift. And so it happened that the hole in the mountain was once at sea level and slowly rinsed out due to the often thundering sea in this area. In the course of the post-glacial land uplift, the Torghatten reached its current height, which caused the hole in the Torghatten to move ever higher.
Plane crash at Torghatten
A small sign in the parking lot indicates a plaque. It reminds of dark hours here at Torghatten.
It was May 6, 1988, when a dash 7 of the Norwegian Widerøy crashed on Torghatten while landing at the airfield in Brønnøysund. All 36 inmates are killed. The plane crash at Torghatten is considered the worst plane crash in the history of Norway.
Elsewhere we report in detail about this misfortune.
Camping at Torghatten
Local providers and residents are increasingly fed up with the wild camping in Norway. Too many and too ruthless campers always cause the political discussion to abolish the Allemansrätt, the right of everyone. Here, on the Torghatten with wild camps meanwhile prevented by drastic means. In the meantime, there is a fine of over EUR 800 if you settle here more than just for parking.
Not far from Torghatten there is a wonderful campsite right on the water in a prime location. Let us allow people in this very short season to earn money from it. Hardly anyone gets rich in this region.