Today I am going to take you on a little adventure to the Lofoten archipelago in the Northwestern part of Norway. This adventure will bring you the heights of the Reinebringen that overlooks the quaint small fishing village of Reine.
Reinebringen in the island of Moskenesøya is perhaps the most iconic hike in the Lofoten archipelago in Norway. It rises 448 meters (1470 feet) straight from sea level up through peaks soaring above the clouds and a trail that runs through very steep and often slippery terrain. While not the highest in the Moskenesøya region, the short hike to the top (about 2 hours) combined with the most iconic view of the fishing village of Reine make it one of the most popular hikes in the Lofoten.
Starting from the fishing village of Reine, finding the path to the trail was a bit difficult. I asked some hikers for directions and was told to go past the tunnel on the main road from Reine and then take a right after a hundred meters. I must have walked past it a few times until I noticed that an arrow painted on the floor that directed to the bushes across the street. The trail is mostly what remains of a dried up river that has been consumed by hikers.
Reinebringen it on!
Calling the Reinebringen a “trail” is a little generous. Some parts look like scenes from Fangorn Forest in Lord of the Rings. I can’t help but think there are some giant spiders ready to ambush and pounce on me behind the bushes. I had to pull myself up on muddy ledges and used my arms to climb up on roots of old trees that stubbornly grew on the side of the cliffs. One grave mistake and it is good-bye, see you on the other hand, No Longer Wanderlust.
It’s as if you could use some help from Gandalf the Grey to get past this section or something. Once clear of the Fangorn forest, the trail gradually becomes steeper and alternates between rocky and muddy sections. The muddy sections can become very slippery at times. But the rocky sections present a different type of challenge. If there are other hikers above you, they can trigger a rock fall since the trail has been eroded from continuous use. If you wander off too far from the trail you run the risk of falling into a deep ravine, so stay on the main trail as much as possible.
The trail will finally open up to a steep and the last rocky ascent before it flattens out to the ridge. The spectacular views over Reine finally emerge. Most hikers stop here, but you can continue up the ridge and do some rock climbing to reach a small peak. There the views are different, with the granite mountains towering above a lake below with just a glimpse of the Reine. Traversing on the spine up the peak where nothing to catch your fall is a thrill.
Up there, my legs began trembling from a jolt of adrenaline that was pumping through my veins. The sheer vertigo-inducing heights combined with the sketchy scrambling up steep boulders can cause bladder-draining accidents of the personal kind. Not that peeing in my pants has ever happened to me before, certainly no on this instance. I’m just saying, not from personal experience, but it is theoretically possible that my pants got wet from falling into a creek on the way up here or from sweating profusely.
Why are you smiling?
Moving on…I will mention again that this trail is short but very steep and I am not even sure anyone would believe this trail a “hike.” Most would probably assert that it is a “climb.” It gets worse; the trail is also becoming more and more dangerous each summer due to deterioration caused by many people perusing the trail. The continued use has led to the terrain, which is extremely steep, to begin with, to become more crumbly and steep ravines have started to form.
It bears mentioning again that this trail is short but very steep and I’m not even sure anyone would consider this trail a “hike.” Most would probably argue that it’s “climb.” Furthermore, the trail is also becoming more and more dangerous each summer due to deterioration caused by many people using the trail. The continued use has caused the terrain, which is extremely steep, to begin with, to become more crumbly and ravines have begun to form.
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Some places have steep sloping slabs remaining that become very dangerous when wet. Because of this, some hikers have bypassed the trail and created new parallel tracks. This has caused parts of the trail to have several furrows that encourage landslides and rock falls. Some sections are so steep some clever hikers have tied ropes to the top so they can use it to climb back down.
You should check your capabilities as a climber and hiker. You don’t want your fear of heights to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are other trails nearby with equally fantastic views and well-maintained trails. If you insist, you will be rewarded with the most the most amazing panorama of the Reinefjorden and the staggering Lofoten Wall. It is one of the most memorable hikes I’ve ever done in Europe.
HIKING THE REINBRINGEN YOURSELF
- You can reach the trail just west of the fishing village of Reine if you follow the highway E10 towards the town of Å.
- Just past the tunnel (Ramsvikstunnelen) and to the right you should be able to see the trail.
- There are also arrows on the pathway directing you towards the trail.
- It’s roughly 3-4 kilometers to the top and there are some parts where you are pulling yourself up on a rope.
- You are allowed to camp at the top, but there’s no source of water so I recommend a bladder you can quickly pack in your backpack like the RIQUIK military grade hydration pack that you can pack in a regular backpack like the Osprey Atmos or a tactical hydration pack for running or hiking.
- The weather is unpredictable. It can rain at any time, or the temperature could drop. Bring layers of clothing and make sure you carry a lightweight down jacket like the Mountain Hardware Dynotherm. A good pair of hiking waterproof or water resistant boots like the Vasque Goretex is also essential.
- A tent like the Eureka Amari should be good enough to keep you comfy with a simple mummy style sleeping bag like the Outdoor Vitals.
- Bring your booze and food. Norway is not the cheapest place to get a drink or eat. If you can pack it from a neighboring country like Finland or Sweden the better. I have an assortment of freeze-dried food like the Mountain House Assortment pack that I cook with an MSR Pocket Rocket stove when I go backpacking.