That dream finally came true in 2022, when I got to visit the storied city of Tromsø, above the Arctic Circle. Accompanied by my partner, Nila, we set out on a 15-day hike to explore Senja, Norway’s second largest island, along with the world famous Lofoten Islands archipelago. From scenic beaches to the ends of the fjords, follow our adventure in UpNorth, presented by Rossignol.
Après deux heures de sommeil, et à l'aide de notre lampe frontale et du clair de lune nous commençons notre première randonnée à partir du village de Skaland et nous nous dirigeons vers un sommet appelé "Husfjellet". Le sentier de randonnée me rappelle quelques souvenirs de la Nouvelle-Zélande et me rappelle à quel point on peut être lent lorsque le chemin n'est constitué que de boue. Quelques heures plus tard, nous nous trouvons au sommet avec une vue magnifique sur les deux côtés des fjords. Le lever du soleil d'aujourd'hui est plus nuageux que prévu, mais il y en a beaucoup d’autres à venir !
It’s late at night when we arrive in Tromsø, a city of 65,000 located above the Arctic Circle. My partner Nila and I are too excited to sleep, so we decide to drive in the direction of Senja, Norway’s second largest island, and start our adventure right away.
We begin our first hike in the small village of Skaland, from which point climb towards a summit called Husfjellet, with the help of headlamps and the moonlight. The hiking trail brings back memories of New Zealand, and reminds me how slow going it can be when tracks are muddy. But a few hours later we’re standing on the summit with an incredible view of fjords on both sides. When the sun rises, it’s cloudier than we expected, but there will be plenty more opportunities to come!
At the middle junction, take the left fork to avoid a large swamp of mud on the right. Note that this side is steeper and bit more exposed, but will lead you to some nice views.
After a well-deserved night of sleep in the seat of our rental car, we wake to a stunning view of mountains and ocean, and decide to eat breakfast with our feet in the sand at Ersfjord Beach, surrounded by tall, imposing peaks. After some research, we make the call to drive to Fjordgård, to set out on our first multi-day hike.
The forecast says there’s potential for thunderstorms; the weather can change very quickly in Norway—for the better or worse. We start up through the mud (once again), and I’m careful to take note of any possible rain shelters along the way, just in case we need to turn back down the mountain. Once the mud is behind us, the trail follows a ridge that offers mesmerizing views. Just a few feet from the summit, we find the perfect spot to set up our tent in one of the few flat spots. Once camp is made, we watch dark, stormy clouds pass by the east side of the fjords. If the weather gets too bad, we’re ready to make a move back down at any moment. But, suddenly, the sun appears behind the clouds and the landscape turns to gold. From where we are on Barden summit, we can see all the way to the famous Segla Peak, in the distance.
We breath sighs of relief as we watch the thunderstorm blow away, and we head back to our tent for a good night’s rest. We know that, tomorrow, we have to be back down the mountain before mid-day, in order to avoid another big afternoon storm.
For an overnight adventure, I recommend pitching your tent below the summit, where the ground is level and there’s more space. There’s no water source, so bring enough water and food.
We take advantage of the big storm to drive all the way to the picturesque villages of Hamnøy and Reine, where we aim for Reinebringen Mountain, to chase another sunset. Unfortunately, by the time we get there, the weather changes and it begins to rain again. Luckily enough, we have our rain jackets in our backpacks, so we’re undeterred and carry on up the hike.
Fun fact: Do you know why this place is nicknamed Stairway to Heaven? The trail is a long, steep set of stairs with 1,978 steps, gaining 1,470 feet of elevation over only 0.7 miles. And the stairway leads to one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Lofoten Islands. The path is very steep, but don’t be discouraged by the sign saying it takes two to four hours return. It only took us about 45 minutes up and 20 minutes down, which makes it the perfect hike to enjoy a sunrise or a sunset.
The next morning, after another missed sunset, we try once again to bag a sunrise by retracing the 1,978 steps back up again. On the way, we can see the clouds turning pink, and as we climb the last steps we’re finally rewarded with the moment we were looking for. A clear sunrise manifests over the fjords and the village of Reine, just for the two of us. It’s always a joy to witness such special scenes; moments like these are the reason we sacrifice sleep, and sometimes walk for hours, days, or even weeks just for a glimpse of something rare and beautiful.
Since it’s a popular and easy hike, the place can get very busy during the day. Go at sunrise to avoid most of the crowds and get better photos.
After sunrise at Reinebringen, we drive to Sørvågen to start the second overnight excursion of the Lofoten leg of our trip—a four-hour hike across rivers, through (more) mud, over rock, to then scramble up a mountainside and arrive at the Munkebu hut. From here, it’s only an hour walk up the steep mountainside to reach the summit of Munken. It’s 7 p.m. when we arrive at the top, and it’s no surprise we’re the only ones. Good camping spots are rare up here, with rocks are all over the place, and we’re happy to have it to ourselves!
The views from Munken prove to be outstanding, which provides a 360-degree panorama of the fjords and multiple alpine lakes. Camping up here is a must-do, as both sunset and sunrise are wonderful to witness.
Make sure to check the weather forecast, without visibility it can be dangerous. There is no water source at the summit so bring enough food and water.
After a long day exploring the surroundings of Reine in the rain, I notice a patch of blue sky on the west side of the Lofoten archipelago. We get a gut feeling that this will be our window, and we drive to the trailhead that leads to Kvalvika Beach and Ryten summit.
The wind is strong and the clouds are moving fast, which means they’re clearing—the sun is coming! Once at the top, we wait an hour before sunset, wrapped in our down jackets to keep warm. Summer days in Norway can be quite cold, the average daytime temperature in August this year was 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
At dusk, the sun finally breaks through the clouds and offers us some comfort, and a beautifully soft, warm light illuminating the surrounding peaks.
For an overnight adventure, I highly recommend you camp at Kvavilka Beach to watch the sunset, then hike up to Ryten summit the next day for sunrise.
After many long days hiking and exploring the Lofoten Islands, we head back to Senja for one last hike, and to see one of the most iconic places in Norway.
The trail starts at Fjordgård and goes all the way to the top of Mount Hesten, from which point you can look 2,100 feet directly down into the fjord. It’s a magical way to end our adventure as we say goodbye to Norway, but only until next time!
Going up the ridge offers another great viewpoint to take photos.
Rossignol items worn by Dylan and Nila :
A few questions...
Who are you?
Bonjour! I’m Dylan Moron, a filmmaker and photographer from France currently living in Germany. I specialise in video and image making in travel and sport industry.
Originally from Angers, it’s far away from the mountains that my love for the outdoors was born. I started to discover the beauty of France and developed my passion for photography and hiking by doing multiple trip in the Pyrenees. With this dedication to the outdoors and meaninful storytelling, my creative journey has led me to New Zealand in 2018, where I decided to cross the country by feet. By documenting this adventure I was able to realize my first film documentary project named “Up and Down”. My time in New Zealand also helped me to take my photography to the next level leading in winning the award as “Wilderness Outdoor Photographer of 2020”.
I finally made my way back home to Europe in 2021 where I’m now documenting my adventures and working on inspiring projects. If I am not taking photographs or creating videos, I am running, hiking, enjoying the good french cuisine, catching up with friends but even then I am not sure if I am able to leave my camera at home.
Why working with Rossignol?
Being french and being close to the outdoors, it is quite naturally that I decided to collaborate with Rossignol which is one of the most historical outdoor brand in France. Their experience and know-how allow them to create very high quality products – Having technical gears is essential in my job as I have to be prepared to face any kind of weather conditions as I will be shooting most of my projects and commercial work outside.
What piece of cloth do you like the most?
If I had to choose only one piece it would be the down jacket from Rossignol. Even during summer days the temperature can significantly drop and there is nothing worse than standing on top of a mountain taking photographs and being cold, that’s why I always pack a down jacket – whether it is a day trip or a multi-day hike. In addition to keep me warm, this jacket is very light and it is an important detail, especially when you go hiking overnight as you want to keep your backpack as light as possible to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.
Discover the SKPR Hybrid Light jacket