The view from the top of Gaustatoppen in Telemark, Norway © Lars Ulriksen
Gaustatoppen is the highest mountain in the county Telemark in Norway. The view from the summit is impressive, you can see an area of approximately 60,000 km²
Gaustatoppen rises majestically with its 1883 metres over sea level. The top is easily accessible and easily climbed, but despite this, offers southern Norway`s longest view. You can see approximately 60.000 km², one sixth of Norway. In comparison, Denmark is about 43.000 km².
Rjukan and Gaustatoppen is just a few hours drive from Oslo (Oslo-Drammen-Kongsberg-Bolkesjø-Rjukan).
The name Rjukan refers to the Rjukan waterall, this waterfall was used at the Vemork hydro power station (largest in the world when it was constructed in 1911). The waterfall has a total drop of about 240 meters, of which about 100 meters is vertical. Because of the hydro power the waterfall is now seen occasionally during summer.
The waterfall was in the 1800s regarded as Norway’s top tourist attraction, and one of the first outside visitors reported that he had discovered the “tallest waterfall in the world” (a slight exaggeration). Others described it as a “lovely and mighty waterfall beyond imagination.”
Lots of great places and exciting history in the area, but this post is about Gaustatoppen. More about my favorite county (Telemark) can be found at www.visittelemark.com
On the summit you will find Gaustatoppen tourist cabin. It is possible to stay overnight in this 100 year old stone cabin.
Please note, that accomodations is only upon request.
Gaustatoppen tourist cabin is a cozy cafe located right on the top of Gaustatoppen. It is on about 1860 m above sea level, and is close to where you excit Gaustabanen. They offer accommodation of the total amount of 11 beds. The Gausta-cabin was, in the summer of 1893 opened by Skien-Telemark Trekking Assosiation. And ever since, it has been in continouos operation.
Gaustatoppen Tourist Cabin is open during Gaustabanens openingshours
Each year almost 40 000 people visit Gaustatoppen, by walking to the top. After the opening of Gaustabanen, you can choose to do a one- or twoways trip. Gaustatoppen is now a more attractive destination for both ski and hiking.
Gaustadbanen consists of a battery-powered carriage on rails which transports passengers approx. 860 metres horizontally into the mountain. At this point there is an intermediate transfer station from which a shuttle line runs upwards at an angle for 1040 metres to a height of 1800 metres above sea level. At the top there is an exit which leads passengers out on to the so-called Tuddalstippen, just below Gaustadtoppen.
The line was built in order to transport people and equipment up to a height of 1800 metres, and as a military transport system which is unique in global terms. A unit of the Norwegian armed forces, which was involved in the installation of radio links on Gaustatoppen, was keen to gain year-round access to the peak regardless of the weather. They then conceived the idea of copying the developers of hydroelectric power stations by excavating a tunnel into the mountainside.
The cost of the line on completion in 1958 was one million dollars. Today the price would have been so prohibitive that the line would never have been built. Gasutabanen was also originally intended to be used for transporting tourists up to the peak of Gasutatoppen, but unfortunately the Cold War came along.
Gaustabanen opened for commercial operation in 2010