|Estimated net time||4-5 hours|
|Difficulty||Not difficult, but you definitely need to use your hands to scramble over and around the large boulder the last couple of hundred horizontal metres of the summit ridge.|
|Drinking water||There are a couple of small streams, but they are not likely to have water after the snow has melted. The best bet is the cafeteria at the south end of the summit ridge.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (June 2012).|
|Parking||Room for many cars at car park by trail head.|
|Start height||1175 metres|
|Vertical metres||745 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.5 km|
From the east end of Rjukan drive south on the road signed for "Tuddal". Drive uphill from road 37 approximately 7.5 km to the Gaustablikk exit, and then continue another 5.0 km to Stavsro. Park on the large car park on the left hand side of the road.
The path to Gaustatoppen starts on the other side of the road, and is well marked all the way to the summit. It is also surprisingly easy to walk through a lot of scree. The path runs south-west up to 1580 metres, where it turns sharp left and heads straight uphill to Gaustatoppen's south ridge at 1660 metres. Once on the ridge turn right and follow the ridge north to the buildings; first the top station of the "train" running inside the mountain, and then the small cafeteria and large TV mast. From here continue along the ridge, which now gets more narrow. Around half-way along the ridge between the TV mast and the summit things start to get slightly more complicated, and you will have to start using your hands in order to navigate over and around large boulder. Some care should be shown on wet rock, but there are no technical difficulties. The summit is marked by a trigonometric point marker and a small mast.
Descend by reversing your ascent route.
30. June 2012
Saturday afternoon, and last chance to hike Gaustatoppen this week-end of my mum's 70th, being celebrated at Gaustablikk. I knew my schedule for Sunday; 9 hours in the car for the drive back home. I also knew that the weather forecast was not good, so Gaustatoppen had to be done now. And my brother Trygg decided to come along, despite the fact that he had been up there also the year before.
As expected there were a continuous stream of hikers coming down from Gaustatoppen as we found our way up towards the fog, since we started as late as 15:00. More surprisingly was it that there were also a considerable number of hikers going the same way as us. We had a bit of fun overtaking everyone we saw ahead of us, even if we only kept a fairly moderate pace, and we made several stops to enjoys the views, which we knew would vanish when we got up to approximately 15-1600 metres.
When we got to the buildings at the south end of the ridge the visibility was down to 30-40 metres, and a little along the ridge towards the summit Trygg decided that enough was enough and said he would wait for me inside the cafeteria. I had no intentions of not getting to the very summit and enjoyed the ridge, for a while; when I got to the section with large boulder I had to notch up the concentration several levels because of the snow and slippery rock.In particular the snow was a dodgy thing as I had to cross several snow bridges and I didn't know how reliable they would be. All in all this part of the hike wasn't anything else than transportation to get to the summit, since it was raining and visibility was close to zero. But at the end I got to the summit, where I spent not ore than 30 seconds before heading back south along the ridge.
Back at the cafeteria I re-joined Trygg, and we had a waffle each before we
started the descent. 1:25 hours later we were back at the car, having visited
the point in Norway where one is supposed to see the largest area of land
without seeing more than a few square metres. This was exactly the same as we
experienced the same week-end one year earlier when we visited Galdh°piggen, so
in 2013 I'm making the assumption that the first week-end in July will provide
excellent weather, and plan a hike based on that assumption!