The Fanaråken climb

July 1981

No map will justify this so just please enter "Fanaraken" in the search field & Google Earth for the map.

We spent most of one half of our holidays in Fortun, Luster from I was born until the house we owned fell into disrepair in 1990. I left for Scotland in 1996 and the house was sold and later burnt down by the new owners. Anyway... My father and I was very mountain walkers. My father still is and so is the rest of my family. I am much more of a cyclist these days, but I am certain I will return to a life in the (Scottish) mountains at the more end of my life. Time constraints and too many good excuses at the moment..
Fanaråken is a big, 2068 meters high mountain in the Fortun area, an half an hour car journey from our holiday home and a natural first big tour for my father to take his two children, myself and my 18 months younger sister, out on a good walk. And so we did.

We started from Helgedalen early that sunny morning with the walk in that valley on a reasonable good road (which later has been made into a much bigger road). The walk was OK. The real climb up to Fanaråken started at the head of the valley, 800 meters above sea level to it topped out at 2068 meters above sea level. The first part of the climb was up to shoulder where the path from Keiserpasset met the path from Fanaråken. We took the zig zag path up the broad shoulder of Fanaråken. The climb went on and on and was a bit hard for a 13 years old boy and a 12 years old girl. There is not much I remember from this climb, but I remember the many false summits on this broad ridge. It was great fun though. We got to the two mountain huts at the top and had a meal there in one of the huts which had been (still is) converted into a cafeteria. Asparagus Soup, no less and the most delicious Asparagus Soup I have ever had in my life. My father still rate this as the best bowl of Asparagus Soup he has ever had. Maybe it was the occasion or the height. But I still get flashbacks to Fanaråken when I have Asparagus Soup here in Scotland, 30 years later.

At the top of Fanaråken

The views in all directions was brilliant and Fanaråken is without any doubts one of the better viewpoints in Norway. But we headed down again and that on a different path than the one we went up. We went for the Keisarpasset which is the classic descent. First on a long ridge towards east with superb views. When we reached a saddle, we went down the west flank of Fanaråken straight down to Keisarpasset.

Down towards Keisarpasset with the Skagastolstindene in the background

We reached Keisarpasset and took the path over some more flat terrain down to the head of Helgedalen and down to the car again after a brilliant day in the mountains.


A brilliant day in the mountains and one of the classic mountain treks in Norway. I agree with that after doing it twice. The last time in the early 1990s. The views is brilliant and the walking is not too hard. A brilliant tour which cemented our interest in the mountains. Just as my father intended. Clever......