To Hell And Back
Go to Hell. Literally.
By: Nolan Thompson
I'm always on the lookout for my next adventure. Extended relaxation on a beach isn't really my style and luxury hotels do little for me. My eyes usually wander to the large voids on the map. Places where the coastlines are jagged, things to climb or wildlife to see. The most recent location I've become obsessed with is Hell. Hell is on my bucket list and as I learn more about it, the real fun seems to be getting there.
Hell is a small town on the northwestern coast of Norway. And one way to experience Hell is with a hardcore group called Jagged Globe. Based out of the UK, they specialize in expedition style travel around the world. With tours on every continent, they offer climbs on some of the world's highest peaks, including six out of the seven summits (sorry, no Everest) and crossings of some of the most extreme frontiers on the planet. Enter the aptly named itinerary, To Hell and Back.
This nine-day adventure kicks off in the city of Trondheim on the northern coast of Norway. Here you'll get your first sight of Hell. After spending one night in Hell, you hop on a transport west into the Norwegian frontier. Travelling about 100 kilometers, crossing the border into Sweden to the town of Storlien. This is it, the end of the line. The transport leaves you and your team behind and it's up to you and the skis on your feet to find your way back.
Over the next five days, you are skiing for five to six hours across a polar landscape sure to redefine the word remote.
It's springtime in Norway, it's frigid, but as any picture would prove, it's beautiful.
You are trekking through the Trøndelag region and pass through two Norwegian National Parks, Skarven, and Roltdalen. Google image both of those and doubling up on thick socks doesn't seem too much of a hassle. Along the way, you are instructed on arctic camping and travel as part of a preparation course for any further north, or REALLY south, ambitions.
On day eight you make it back to Hell. Looking at this trip and the endurance demanded from the journey to get there, I can imagine never being more excited to say "I'm in Hell" than this moment.
Now, Jagged says you can top off the journey by dipping a toe into the north Atlantic to punctuate the completion of your crossing of Norway BUT chances are you'll have to crack through some thick ice to do so. After, you can relax in Hell. Take advantage of a Scandinavian sauna and finally enjoy the warmth you'd expect from such a place and name.
Beaches and hotels aren't a big draw to me but the chance to cross a country, learning something new like cross-country skiing and getting into the backcountry, that's my version of paradise.
Life is too short to spend time pressing pause. Vacation should be about celebrating what we are meant to do.
To explore and dare to do the seemingly impossible. This kind of adventure, To Hell and Back, is heaven on Earth. And for more info on Hell itself, watch this epic video from Vice News.