Side-by-side along the coast of Helgeland, between the Hurtigruten ports of call of Sandnessjøen and Brønnøysund, seven mountaintops look so beautiful that a local legend claims that they are female trolls turned to stone.
THE TALE OF A TROLL CHASE
In the legend, Botnkrona (3,517 feet), Grytfoten (3,497 feet), Skjæringen (4,202 feet), Tvillingene (the Twins) (3,215 feet), Kvasstinden (3,314), and Stortinden (2,986) were all daughters of the Suliskongen, who kept them under strict control far up north. One night he fell into such a deep sleep that all seven maidens were able to sneak out.
But Vågekallen, who had been eager for a wife, was lying in wait. He chased them. The sisters fled south down the coast, with several trolls chasing them, some of whom were trying to save them and some who were trying to capture them. But none of them thought of the sun, which turns all trolls to stone. When night eventually turned to morning, the troll sisters and their pursuers were petrified and became the mountain range that comprises the Helgeland coastline – one of the most beautiful places in the world today.
CLIMBING THE SEVEN SISTERS
The Seven Sisters are all so close together that an experienced hiker can climb them all in a single day. The Norwegian Trekking Association estimates that an experienced hiker should take just under thirteen hours to complete the 17-mile hike, which includes an elevation gain of over 10,000 feet.
If hiking all of the seven sisters together is too challenging for you, you can always make a trip up one of them. Stortinden, at 2,986-feethigh, is the easiest mountain to climb for less experienced hikers.
The nearest port of call is Sandenessjøen. You can get maps of the hiking trails from the tourist office here. The hiking season in the area is generally between May and September.