2469 is a number every Norwegian is supposed to know. The number is taught in school and is most likely one of the most commonly used quiz questions in the country. What does it mean? Strictly speaking, 2469 is the elevation at which you find the tallest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia, and Northern Europe: Galdhøpiggen. But in a country defined by its close connection to its mountains, tundra, and fjords, it’s a symbol of our lifestyle.
Strangely enough, being the hiker and sometimes mountaineer that I am, I had never even considered climbing Galdhøpiggen until this summer. At the end of July, my mum and I did a 5-day hiking tour in the area and decided to add the peak to our itinerary.
Our ascent to Galdhøpiggen was reminiscent of Nirmal Purja’s viral photo from Mount Everest. We took the path across the glacier (Styggebreen), where you have to walk with guides in rope teams. Two hundred people were climbing the same route as us that day, a particularly sunny Saturday at the end of July. However, people were careful to keep a reasonable distance from each other, within the guidelines of social distancing.
The number of people aside, the trip and the weather was spectacular.
Scorecard: 11 km. 637 m elevation gain. Met three dogs. Ate zero waffles (sad).