Børgefjell is one of the last pure wilderness areas in Norway. There is no tourist infrastructure; no trails, no markings, no accommodation. It stretches for about 50-60 km between the populated areas in the north and in the south. You have to find your own route for the 2-3 days crossing. There are access paths from both directions. At the latest in the high valley between two mountain ranges you are on your own. On the south side, the lake Namsvatnet, surrounded by undeveloped forests, makes access difficult. However, there is a boat service that is used by practically all tourers to get over the forest line by the shortest route.
Already at the very beginning of my planning back in 2019/20, I outlined a route on the west side of Namsvatnet. This way I do not have to use the boat and do not come into conflict with the bird sanctuary on the east side.
How was it in Børgefjell resp. how will it be? These were the questions in the cabins, on the paths and on Instagram. Obviously this national park seems to be said to have something mystical and unpredictable. Some decided to bypass Børgefjell on marked trails west, or east through Sweden, based on their multi-day struggle through the swamps of Trøndelag. repeatedly mentioned in the conversations were the challenge of navigation, the snow situation, flooded streams and rivers, and the swamps.
All these questions hardly concerned me, because actually I have already experienced quite a bit regarding stream crossings, snow and swamp. The navigation did not worry me anyway, but I was especially looking forward to it. When the weather forecast predicted good weather, the anticipation increased even more. Bursting with confidence, I booked an overnight stay including dinner and breakfast at Furuheim Gård, one of the northern starting points into Børgefjell. I was fully aware that both meals would probably be unfavorable for my histamine intolerance. It was actually like that, but with the appropriate medication I could enjoy both the salmon for dinner, as well as cheese, reindeer sausage, duck breast, etc..
Already the approach surprised me positively. The path was perfectly marked and partly even provided with wooden walkways. I quickly reached the timber line, where already a first stream crossing was pending. The amount of water was moderate and the current was low. So wading through was no problem. It was not more than ankle deep. The following swamps also proved to be much less wet than I had experienced in the past days on the Nordlandruta. From the timberline, large herds of reindeer could be observed again and again.
Arrived on the plateau, the view opened on the mountains and in the high valley green from the heather. This was now my own playground for the next two days! I surfed along the contour lines towards my first planned fixed point. Simply cool! I even discovered cross-laminated sandstone benches passing by. Even the decreasing grain size gradiation towards the top was still clearly visible. Fascinating, if these almost undeformed rocks stacked together during the Caledonian mountain building about 450 million years ago, can be admired! Thereby I felt thrown back to my studies. All technical terms were immediately present again, even if I did not used them since.
I moved for hours from fixed point to fixed point of my route. These points were usually at suitable locations for the numerous stream crossings. All of them turned out to be harmless. Mostly I could overcome them by hopping from stone to stone. Only at one place I stood up to scarcely under the knee in the water. Towards the south, a landslide area followed. The boulders could be bypassed however well in the heather. The night camp on a small hill directly on the lakeside and facing the sunset, rounded off the first day in Børgefjell.
The rising sun woke me up and the cloudless sky promised a perfect hiking day for once again in shorts. Analogous to the previous day, I followed my fixed points through the terrain to the key point of my Børgefjell traverse. From the maps and aerial photos, I could not conclusively figure out if the river could be crossed at the outlet of a larger lake system. At the identified point, the current was simply too high, despite relatively shallow water. Bypassing the large lake was not an option. Neither an op I considered was swimming through the lake and floating the back-bag on the inflatable sleeping pad. Therefore I had to look for another wading place further downstream. Several steps with mighty waterfalls and lakes alternated. I had already resigned myself to following the river to the boat landing and writing off the western passage of Namsvatnet. That’s when I discovered a wide but shallow spot with lots of rocks. I tried it and made the traverse at the first attempt. At the deepest point I stood knee-deep in the water. The current was also uncritical compared to river crossings in Finnmark.
Then, I tackled the last part of my journey through the Børgefjell. It was important to stay as long as possible in the open terrain, to avoid fighting through the birch forest interspersed with swamps and small lakes. Initially, I was looking for the dry hills in this forest section, but quickly realized that the swamps were almost dry and passed quite easily between the birch woods. In between, I still had to pass through the crippled birch trees. This was no problem on the numerous game trails. Most troublesome were the last few kilometers along a completely rutted, deep and wet quad track. After an exhausting, eventful day and successful west traverse of Børgefjell and Namsvatnet I pitched my tent on its southern shore.
No question, the Børgefjell was like heaven to me! Narvikfjell may be more scenic, but the carefree cross-country hiking in the best conditions in Børgefjell is hard to beat. The icing on the cake was of course the successful traverse west of Namsvatnet. I have not encountered this route in the numerous reports of other Norge på langs hikers.