Reader, meet Stappen. Stappen, meet reader.
Hiking up Stappen is tour 54 in my book “På tur i Tromsø” – On tour in Tromsø – and it is marked blue, which somehow means that it is moderately easy. I tried to hike up Stappen in winter last year but gave up because of the steep terrain paired with snow. Today I gave it another try.
Autumn has been in full swing the last days and most of birch leaves are yellow, while other plants as groundcovers are anything between green, yellow and bright red. Sky today was grey but the colours shone brightly.
After crossing a bog I had started hiking up the mountain from the left side. Or should I say, climb? There was no recognisable path and it was quite steep. Since all rocks were overgrown, terrain was not so easy and I took it slowly and cautiously. I didn’t want to slip or find some hole between the rocks.
As usual the views were gorgeous. The island Tussøya with the pale sea behind, the mountain massif round Skamtinden that rose above the valley while gaining height. or the autumnal coloured marshes with their embedded lakes and small meandering streams.
You can see it on the first photo. The way up stays steep – up to 85% or 40° – until the very top. But finally I crossed the 550 metres level curve and was almost up, because Stappen is only 565.2 metres high. But up does not mean that it was a plateau, it was more a constant up and down and I used my hands a lot when it got steep. Fortunately the ridge was always some metres broad. I’m a bit afraid of heights. And then – after crossing most of the ridge – I reached the top.
Impressive is not the word that you would use to describe this knee-high heap of stones. It was quite obvious, that this mountain is not very popular. It is pretty steep to the sides, so that I could look straight down to the lake Botnvatnet (“the bottom water”). Later I would go round this lake on my way back.
But I was still on the top of the mountain and continued following the ridge that slowly descended. Here you can see two parts of the ridge:
On my way I found a small clearing surrounded by rocks. With the rough mountains around it looked like a secret valley, where dinosaurs still live. Well, they have to be tiny, the clearing was only round ten square metres in size.
This part of Stappen was much less steep, but when I looked back again it looked quite impressive anyhow.
After a while I reached the bogs – still at an altitude of round 330 metres and started to walk back onto the wet and bouncy ground.
Stappen was a nice tour but steeper than expected. At home I read the tour description in the book again. You had to read between the lines: While it was not mentioned, that the ascent is steep, alternative routes were mentioned with the words: “Her er det litt mindre bratt”.
Google translate’s translation: “Here it is a little less steep”.
Olaf’s translation: “Here it is little less steep which is still pretty steep. But other paths – those that you will choose – are much steeper! Anyhow, we marked the tour as blue so you might survive.”
At the end just three pairs of photos of this tour and my tour on 4 December: