Monday, November 18, 2013

Geopiece of the Day: Trolltunga

Trolltunga the norwegian word for Troll's Tongue sticks out of a vertical mountain side of Skjeggedal above a large drop into the Hardanger Fjord. The tongue offers a beautiful view of the natural formations which resulted from the last ice age and the norwegian town of Odda.

The location is one of the lesser known nature formations in Norway and only draws a few thousands visitors every year. If you will you could call it an insider tip in the travel world of geological oddities. Another reason why it is not one of the busy travel places is the location. Climbing the Troll's Tongue is a hiking trip of four hours and although you don't  have to take rock climbing equipment you have to battle your fears. On a ledge that hovers about 700 m above the lake below visitors need to control their fear of heights. This is especially true because the area has no safety rails or spots for hooking climbing ropes in order not to disturb the peaceful nature of the place. Seasons also play a role in the ascent to the Tongue as it is only safe to make the trip in the summer months between June and September.

The cliff is part of the precambrian bedrock and was formed during the ice age, approximately 10,000 years ago, when the edges of the ice sheet reached down to northern Europe . The water from the glacier froze in the crevices of the mountain and eventually broke off large, angular blocks, which were later carried away with the glacier. Along the cliff itself deep cracks have formed. The 11 kilometer trip to Trolltunga also passes through the bedrock, and the clean washed slippery hillsides.

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