A waffle with jam and rømme (sour cream). That is the reward that awaits every climber of Gaustatoppen. In fact, Jorunn Karlberg Tveiten and her staff at Gaustatoppen Turisthytte sell more waffles than any other place in Norway.
If she looks out the window at work 1850 m above sea level, and look between the mountains Store and Lille Gaustakne, Jorunn can catch a glimpse of the house her mother had built down in Tuddal. For the last three years, Jorunn has been the manager of the tourist cabin, Gaustatoppen Turisthytte.
– Gaustatoppen is the mountain in my heart and I feel that DNT, the Norwegian Tourist Association, stands for something really good. So when the vacant position was announced, I thought “Yes!” and sent in my application,” says Jorunn.
Clear days she can see a sixth of Norway, and some days she doesn’t see a thing. On the top, mist and clouds form quickly and in rough weather stormy winds are common. Then it’s not easy to get home.
Gaustatoppen Turisthytte is one of three DNT- staffed cabins in Telemark. Despite its small size and is located on the top of a mountain, 43 000 waffles are baked and served here every year.
– For many, it’s a tradition to have a waffle with jam and rømme (sour cream) here. It’s the reward for the climb, she says.
Most visitors come during July and in conjunction with special arrangements, such as Nattevandringen and competitions like Norseman and Viking Challenge. At peak times the staff keeps 14 waffle irons going. Using all the electrical outlets in the cabin.
To get all groceries up on the mountain Gaustabanen is used, as well as a helicopter. Last year a total of 40 deliveries were carried out, lifting almost 40 tons of goods.
– We have volunteers helping us offload and bring the goods into our storage inside the mountain, says Jorunn.
DNT Telemark is responsible not only for the cabin but also to keep the trails clearly marked and easy to find.
– Our mission is to facilitate and make it easy for all to come out and experience nature,” says Jorunn, so we’re happy to have Gaustabanen that make us accessible for more people. For many, the joy and success of having climbed from the Gaustabanen top station are as big as for the “tough trekkers” walking all the way from Rjukan.
Greeting all the visitors is something Jorunn appreciates with her job.
– Everybody coming here is in a very good mood having achieved their goal of coming up. That makes my job a true pleasure, and of course, there are many familiar faces coming back.