Gaustatoppen — an ocean of stone

Those who have climbed this rocky mountain may have noticed the wavy stone surfaces and wondered why. Why do they look like this?

Well, this is a beach walk 1,200 million years too late. Now the beach is 1,883 m (6,178 ft) above the ocean. Needless to say. It is cold, and bathing is not an option — you could only dive into the snow.

But on the other hand, there is a stunning view from here. You can see an area of about 60,000 km², one-sixth of Norway’s mainland. Bigger than the flat pancake Denmark, for instance.

As an author of novels and articles, I am always aware of my surroundings. Where to go and what to see. Tries to use my imagination. To see the history behind what we see.

I also try to bring it all alive with my artistic skills, like the illustration above.

An ocean of stone …


A huge flood wave, it seems—a fossilised shattered beach.

Photo: Tom Thowsen 2020

Today, it is not an easy beach walk. That’s for sure. Climbing downhill is absolutely the worst, especially for my back. It cost me some pain for a couple of days, to put it mildly. Still, I am spellbound by this scenery.  Such environmental changes there have been. And climate changes, for that sake. This beach has suffered earthquakes, and several glaciation periods. When seeing this, one can wonder how much there will be left of our civilization after the next Ice age to come.

It makes me feel small.

Photo: Tom Thowsen 2020

The trails are well marked with red T`s.

The Norwegian Trekking Association (Norwegian: Den norske turistforening, DNT) is a Norwegian association which maintains mountain trails and cabins in Norway. The association was founded on 21 January 1868 with the scope «to help and develop tourism in this country». Today the goal is to work for simple, secure and environmentally friendly outdoor activities.

A secret tunnel to the top is also available.

Photo: Wikipedia

Gaustabanen is a mountain railway that runs from Longefonn 1150 masl. to near the top of Gaustatoppen 1800 masl. The course is open all year round and runs continuously during opening hours. From the start to the top, it takes 15 minutes. The track consists of 2 stretches and 3 stations. From the lower station, an electric tram takes 850 meters into the mountains to Brekket. There you go over to the cable car that takes you up to the upper station and the exit at the top.

The course was originally built as part of a secret NATO facility in 1959. After NATO left the facility and a great effort from enthusiasts, the course opened to the public in 2010. Today, the Gaustabanen is open all year and is very popular and provides easy access to the top one of Norway’s most beautiful mountains.

This mountain, which once was a beach, has both a curious inside and a widely known outside, and it is situated just three hours’ drive from the capital, Oslo.

Photo: Tom Thowsen 2020

As a curiosity, at my cabin, 200 kilometres southeast of Gaustatoppen, I found the stone in the photo below. (Sorry for the paint stains, my fault.) This possibly shows how far stones can drift away with the movements of glaciers. Or some of the previous cabin owners brought it there, maybe as a souvenir from Gaustatoppen. It does not belong to my district southeast in Norway.

Photo: Tom Thowsen 2021
Gaustatoppen Photo: Wikipedia

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