Snowfields of the Nansenbu Alpine Hut

Nansenbu Hut

On our trip to the 300 days of rain, fishing village of a city that is Bergen we decided to take a trek out to an alpine hut. I chose the longest hut from trailhead in the area (Nansenbu) which also turned out to be the most easily accessible by train. The trip was 9 mi and 4200 ft from the train station in Voss to the hut. It featured an unexpected plethora of snow fields, a foot soaking amount of steep muddy trail and a picturesque alpine hut all to ourselves.

We left our beautiful historic wharf hotel in the daily rains of Bergen on a 1.5 hrs train to Vossavangen or Voss. The train gave us great views of multiple fjords and several 2000 ft long waterfalls.

Upon arrival we took our bags containing all the warm clothes we brought (we didn’t have sleeping bags) along park trails until we reached the switchback road that started our elevation. Up this road and off another we gained 1000 ft and 3 miles from the train station until the road ended at the trailhead.

Walking out of the train station towards trailhead

The trail was moderately steep and majorly muddy. The steeper, the more there was slabby rock to walk on. The flatter, the more than intense mud. There were many attempts to improve the trail with planks and wood logs but that was the minority. Mostly the sky sprinkled during this section which is as good as no rain thus far in Norway.

View of Voss
A steeper, rooted section
A flatter, muddier section

At 3000 ft we hit our first snow field and the terrain transitioned to less steep, no trees, small alpine plants and a decoration of granite rocks.

Transition into more rocky terrain

A half mile later at around 3 miles to the hut, the trail markings became more sparse as we started crossing plentiful snowfields between bodies of water. The trail also disappeared as it was entirely across rock. Then the freezing rain joined the wind in harassing our faces.

Walking up a larger snow field
Rocks and snow become the trail

The path became snow field crossings, avoiding open water and rock hopping with little elevation gain and lost. These obstacles slowed our pace down to 1 mile an hour by the end. There was one river we couldn’t cross on rocks that required us to walk barefoot through in the frigid water. 

Walking through the snow river

Finally we made it to the hut alongside a frozen lake with a couple sheep bells ringing in the distance. Nansenbu Hut was made in 2018 and was meticulously clean. It had a wood stove we turned on immediately to dry our shoes and socks. Reading the hut guestbook it doesn’t look like it gets much traffic and we had the whole thing to ourselves. Fortuitously there was also a comforter and pillow on each bed so we weren’t worried about being too cold.

View of the hut walking in the door
Dining area
One of the bed areas

We may have under estimated our food requirements as we just had a couple snacks and a sandwich for six hour journey. However we made a meal of some left after cabin food with what looked like hamburger helper and rice. It actually tasted quite good and filled us up plenty.

We woke up warm under our blanket with reduced visibility from the clouds that had rolled in. Squinting to make out the next marker across each snow field and a little guessing we made it across the alpine section and into the muddy woods. Finally through town and on the train home. The hike was type 1.5 fun but the hut was five stars. As I said to Sadie, unexpected hardship is one of the components of an adventure. 🙂