For those adventurous enough, climbing the Fjellheisen mountain in Tromsø is one of the best activities you can do, and it’s completely for free. The climb itself is 40 minutes and depending on the conditions, quite slippery and snowy. You’ll want to put on your best pair of boots and perhaps crampons if you have them (although not completely necessary), and your most waterproof pants to make the hike up, and to finish without cold, wet feet.
There are many parts of the hike that you’ll be on all fours to climb, so make sure to bring a pair of waterproof gloves. But it is part of the whole experience. Not too easy, not too difficult, hard enough to push anyone’s limits. It makes the view at the top worth it.
The location of the Sherpa Stairs is midway on the end of the Fjellvegan and middle of Fløyvegen street. You should see house number 40 (as seen in the photo below) and you can then climb just to the left on a small snowy, easily missed path up the hill. From there it is a hard 40 minutes to the top. You’ll likely be sliding down and sinking into snow in parts of the hill, but if you step carefully, you will make it. Just give yourself enough day light hours to get to the top.
Only a few minutes into the walk, you’ll see great views of Tromsø city. 10 minutes up and you’ll find a nice landing to the left of the path, which is also the fork for going up the mountain.
After the fork, there are two Himalayan flag banners that you will go under and this will go straight up the mountain. You’ll find other spots to rest. The one below was right after a very steep part and about 25 minutes into the venture.
After you get high enough on the trail, the mountain will open up and then it is almost a free for all of what path to take upwards. Use the one that has the best footholds and don’t worry because they all end up at the mountain house cafe at the top.
Since we climbed one the darkest day of the year, the sun set quite quickly (well it actually never rose above the horizon that day), but luckily we saw Tromsø in the best light – the mountains and city were at the correct lighting and you could see the whole panorama before you.
Pack a lunch and dinner to the top to save money.
Bring a tripod and camera to take photos of the northern lights.
Climb up the mountain more, after the mountain house towards the farthest peak, then you’ll find a slight downhill crater that blocks more of the city light.
Bring your charger for your phone, if you need to do work or check the internet (Cafe has wifi),
Bring a headlamp if you plan on climbing both up and down. You’ll want your hands free for the journey.
It gets significantly colder at the top and the wind doesn’t help. Bring the warmest clothes you have and layer up and down on the hike so that your sweat doesn’t get trapped. That’s one of the worst mistakes to make in the cold.