Short but exciting
In the context of Northern Norway, 339 metres (1,112 ft) is not all that much, and in mountainous Meløy, it's ridiculously tiny. But in the hour or so that it takes you to climb to the top, you have to haul yourself up a rope line, crawl over a ridge, clamber quite a bit and pick your way through marshland. In other words, it's never boring. Fortunately it's neither scary nor dangerous. The reward is surprisingly spectacular for the 339 metres (1,112 ft) – a view of the Nordland coast that is like a nautical chart.
Tough climbing but no steep drops
The trip up is never boring. A few minutes after leaving the village, you have to clamber between rocky knolls in a dense forest. After another few minutes, you reach the eastern and lowest part of the ridge that goes east to west across the island. From there the path continues gently upward and westward, through terrain that is marshy in places. In one place, you have to go down to the right and hold tightly onto a rope while climbing steeply upwards. However, the most difficult part is a little closer to the top, where a thick, knotted rope hangs down a rocky face, and that can seem intimidating. But you just have to get a good grip on the rope, put your feet in the cracks in the rock, and you're over the worst in 30 seconds. Almost at the very top, you have to crawl along a ridge, but there are no really steep drops there.
The trail is marked at the beginning with red-painted posts across a meadow at the edge of the village. The markings gradually disappear, but it is more or less obvious which way you should go. All you have to do is follow the ridge of the mountain, and the path is well trodden.
Effort is rewarded
The reward for your effort is incredible on a clear day: far out to the north west you can make out the contours of Værøy and Røst as dark shadows against the blue sky. To the south is the Helgeland archipelago, with Rødøyløva, Hestmannen and Lovund towering over thousands of flat islets. On the nearest tiny islands you can see houses and jetties, and due west is the white fleck of Karlsholmen Lighthouse. Due north you can see Fugløya island and the mountains of Bodø, and in the distance, Lofoten is like a grey mirage. The mainland to the east is like a closed, wild and dark wall of peaks, with a glimpse of Svartisen between the mountains.
Climbing up Bolgtinden
Talk to the locals first, and they will tell you exactly where the climb starts. In order to climb up, you need to have full mobility in your arms and legs. This mountain is suitable for people of moderate to poor fitness; you just have to allow plenty of time – and children will love having to climb up the rope. Allow two to three hours up and down. www.bolga.no is a great place to find information about Bolga. www.visitmeloy.no has tourist information about the rest of the beautiful municipality of Meløy.