Scale the heights of Skåla If you want to get to the top in life, you have to be prepared for some uphill battles. To reach the top of Skåla (1848 m), you won’t find a longer uphill stretch in the whole of Norway. Skåla - this imposingly beautiful giant of a mountain - towers over the village of Loen. A good man-made track winds its way through the rocky terrain a whopping 1848 vertical metres from the shoreline of the fjord. Skålatårnet - the tower at the summit - is not just the kind of DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) self-service cabin where you spend the night or simply whip up a well-deserved warm cup of coffee on the summit.
This is a spectacular hike with views of fjords, mountains and glaciers. Nowhere else in Norway will you find a bigger difference in altitude from fjord to summit. Walking here on the old stone-paved paths and stone steps, with fantastic fjord landscapes as far as the eye can see, is a true cultural experience. You can spend the night in the tower at the summit. This was originally built as a sanatarium to cure illness, and the place hasn’t lost its remedial qualities, as there can scarcely be anything healthier than fjord views and a cool glacial breeze.
The trip is suitable for people in good physical shape.
Special equipment is not required for this trip. Take warm clothes and a packed lunch for a day in the outdoors.
Loen is the closest stop for public transport (bus), and there are good bus connections from Oslo and Bergen. Local buses leave the transport hub of Stryn several times a day. You can also book a taxi to take you to the starting point. Loen is located 11 km from the centre of Stryn. If you are driving, turn off towards the Lodalen valley and drive appr. 2 km until you arrive at Tjugen and the starting point for the walk. Parking fee.
The walk starts at Tjugen 2 km from Loen, almost at Loenvatnet lake, where there is an information board about the walk. The walk starts on a tractor road and continues on a path further up in the forest. The path is well marked all the way. The path is stone-paved in some places, and when you get higher up there are stone steps.
The distinctive Mount Skåla towers 1,848 metres above sea level. In 1891, a round tower was built with three-tier bunk beds sleeping 22. The tower, which was the brainchild of Dr Hans Henrik Gerhard Kloumann, was built to provide recreation for body and soul. From his home at Faleide, he had a beautiful view looking up the fjord with the majestic Mount Skåla in the background. Mount Skåla is reckoned to be Norway’s highest mountain top with its ‘foot in the sea’. The Skålatårnet tower is a self-service cabin run by the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and it is without doubt Norway’s – and perhaps the world’s – most unique tourist cabin. Spectacular views in all directions make a midnight visit to the toilet an unforgettable experience. Today, the tower is run by Bergen Turlag (Bergen Trekking Association). It has always been a popular mountain destination, and many people have run up the mountainside to try and break the uphill record.
The Skåla Opp uphill race is organised every year in mid-August. Skåla Opp is Norway and Northern Europe’s toughest uphill race. Loen sports club and Loen Active organise the race. Both competitive and fun-run categories.
Loen has many accommodation options. Hotel Alexandra, situated just 2 km from the walk’s starting point, is known as one of Norway’s best hotels. There are many campsites and cabins in Loen and up in the Lodalen valley.
Mt. Skåla is one of the Fjord Trails - 20 unforgettble walks in Nordfjord: www.nordfjord.no/fjordtrails