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Gaustatoppen, Rjukan

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Gaustatoppen is the highest mountain in the county Telemark in Norway. The view from the summit is impressive, as one can see an area of approximately 60,000 km², one sixth of Norway's mainland. There is an elevator system inside the mountain, built for military purposes, which is now a tourist attraction. This ascends from the base of the mountain almost to the summit. The mountain is popular for downhill skiing in winter, and competitions have been held on its slopes. These competitions include the "Norseman triathlon", billed as "the world's most brutal iron-distance triathlon". It starts in Eidfjord and finishes at the top of Gaustatoppen. The summit is accessible on foot in the summer, on a rocky pathway of medium difficulty, although the southern side of the mountain is very dangerous and inaccessible. The wreckage of an airplane crash lies there, as it is too difficult to remove it.The nameThe first element is Gausta, the name of the whole mountain, the last element is the finite form of topp m 'top, summit'. The name Gausta is probably a shortened form for *Gaustafjell (Gausta mountain), because Gausta originally was the name of a farm beneath the mountain. (For the same development see Dovre.) The Old Norse form of the name was maybe *Gautstǫð, the name is then a compound of gaut f 'flooded place', and stǫð f 'stead, landing place for boat'. (The farm lies at Rjukan river.)RailwayInside the mountain there is a railway that cost one million US dollars to build from 1954 to 1959. It was built to access the military radio station built on the top.
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  • A stunning mountain peak. Achievable by a short walk up and easily followed well signposted route in summer. We skinned up using skins on our skis in winter. The peak is still achievable in winter via...  more »
  • They say, you can see 1/6th of Norway from the top. We went to the top with an expectation of checking 1/6th of Norway. But after reaching, what we experienced was much more than expected. If you want...  more »
  • Took the path up in the middle of the night, to experience the Lunar Eclipse here high up. A wonderful experience. This was the fall in 2015. IPA
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