Skålatårnet in Norway is a destination for hikers who want to test whether their body is in shape after the summer. Learn more about Norway’s highest mountain peak with its foot in the sea.
Skåla is regarded as Norway’s highest mountain peak, with its foot in the sea. The mountain is 1848 meters above sea level and has always been a popular mountain destination. The mountain is located about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east of the village of Loen and about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) south of the lake Oppstrynsvatn. There are two summits to the mountain, one at 1,843 meters (6,047 ft) and one at 1,848 meters (6,063 ft) above sea level. The latter one is sometimes called Stryneskåla. Every year there is a race from the village of Loen up the mountain.
From Loen in Stryn up to the Norwegian Trekking Association’s cabin there is a height difference of 1843 meters. The reward is the view over the glacier, mountains and fjord.
The path up is steep and some parts hard to hike. This hike is spectacular and the view you have on the way up is breathtaking. Most parts of the hike take place in the Josteldalsbreen National Park. The path up was built at the same time as the Skåla tower in 1891 and it has in recent times been restored by the locals together with Sherpas from Nepal.
The name of the mountain is the finite form of skål which means “scale” or “bowl”. The hillside that faces the lake Strynsvatnet has a large depression in it which is shaped like a bowl.
The tower at the top summit is built from rocks. It is called Skålatårnet (“Skåla tower”) or Kloumantårnet (“Klouman tower”). The construction of the tower was initiated by Doctor Hans Henrik Gerhard Klouman from the nearby village of Innvik. According to what seems to be a widespread legend, the tower was built as a means to cure tuberculosis, which was widespread in the late 19th century. However, this myth has been falsified by local historian Ove Eide. According to Eide, no references to tuberculosis exist in any written records before 1991, i.e. one hundred years after the tower was completed.
Related: Mountain Hiking in Norway
The hike up to Skåla starts at Tjugen. When you arrive from Loen, there is a parking lot with toilet and waste disposal on your right hand. The hike starts on the tractor road which is right by the parking lot, which after a while goes over to the path and when one approaches the top there are stone steps.
Today, it is a tourist cabin with 20 beds. 10,000 hikers walk this way every year. Feel free to test your physics against the children, maybe you should have joined the children’s football training this summer after all.
Norway’s Highest Mountain Peak With Its Foot in the Sea, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature image (on top): Photo by Sverre Hjørnevik/Visit Norway