Jotunheimen Haute Route is a five-day randonée ski tour into the heart of Jotunheimen National Park. The route crosses at least eight glaciers and seven 2000-meter summits, including the mountains Glittertind and Galdhøpiggen. Overnight accommodation is at staffed lodges. Each leg is approx. 15 km, with 1000-1500-meter elevation gain.
It took climbing North Africa's highest mountain for Johan Wildhagen and Stian Hagen to realise that the ideal randonée skiing destination was in fact located in the Norwegian mountain range where they holidayed as children.
There is some truth to this. You need to leave to discover what you have back home. Playwright Henrik Ibsen had to travel to Italy to write his greatest plays about Norway. For Stian Hagen and Johan Wildhagen, something happened in North Africa in 2012.
They brought their ski gear to another continent, landed in Marrakesh, drove for hours, and then walked for hours in a throng of people, who were all going to the same place. People make the journey here from round the world. Norwegians Stian Hagen, a randonée-skiing pioneer, known for having climbed almost all of the Matterhorn and skied down, and travel companion and photographer Johan Wildhagen, known for assignments in the roughest landscapes, left Scandinavia to ski down North Africa's highest mountain: Toubkal.
It could have been bliss. It could have been everything they had dreamt it would be.
What are we doing here? they started thinking. What are we doing? That is when they got the idea.
- Jotunheimen, said buddy Stian Hagen.
- We need to go home to Jotunheimen. Norway's Haute Route is there, waiting for us.
They had known the Norwegian mountain range all their lives. It was so familiar to them that it became invisible. But now it was revealed to them. Jotunheimen's impressive and relatively untouched peaks were clearly a randonée-skiing destination. The invisible became visible. They put on their skis and created Jotunheimen Haute Route.