The longest Norwegian mountain range stretches from the Agder counties in the south up to Finnmark County in the north – nearly 1,300 km (808 miles). The mountain range is longer than the Alps and the Pyrenees, but has never been given a proper name.
Earlier this year, the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and the Norwegian Geological Association (NGF) announced a competition to find an eloquent and descriptive name. They have received over 5,000 name suggestions.
The jury has selected seven finalists, and the audience will vote for the best name. The mountain range should have a Norwegian and Scandinavian name, but at the same time easy to pronounce in other languages. The name should refer to the Norwegian and Swedish culture and nature.
Here are the seven suggestions:
Eventyrfjella (Fairytale Mountains): The name refers to the old folk tales and the supernatural beings living in the mountains. In Norwegian, eventyr may also mean something exciting, and it is definitely an adventure to go hiking in the Norwegian mountain range.
Skandesfjella (Skandes Mountains): Many people wanted a name that is connected to Scandinavia and the term Scandinavian Mountain Range is often used in scientific literature. It is also a pun with the South American Andes mountain range. The original word Skandia stems from Skåne in southern Sweden – an area without mountains.
Jutulryggen (The Jutul Ridge): In Norwegian folklore, Jutulen is a type of mountain troll. The legend says that it will turn into stone if it is exposed to the sun. The Jutulhogget is a 2.4 km (1.5 miles) long canyon in the municipalities of Alvdal and Rendalen in Hedmark, created by the rupture of the dam of a proglacial lake.
Trollfjella (Troll Mountains): The traditional Troll is another familiar creature in Norwegian folklore. They live in the mountains and can also turn to stone if they are exposed to sun light. Internationally, trolls are more familiar than the jutul.
Midgardsfjella (Midgard Mountains): In Norse mythology, Midgard was inhabited by humans, and one of the Nine Worlds. Placed somewhere in the middle of Yggdrasil, Midgard was surrounded by a world of water, or ocean, which was impassable. The ocean was inhabited by the great sea serpent Jörmungandr (Miðgarðsormr), which is so huge that he encircles the world entirely, grasping his own tail.
Nordryggen (North Ridge): North points out that the mountain range lies far to the north. Metaphorically a ridge resembles the back of a human or animal, preferably in the upper part of an elongated mountain.
Vikingfjella (Viking Mountains): The Vikings are well known both nationally and internationally as Nordic warriors, pirates and traders. The name sends a clear message about the ancient Norwegian greatness as a highly respected nation. Today, Norwegians still love to call themselves Vikings.
On September 12th, the result will be presented to the tour planner site UT.no (where the Norwegian voting takes place). The winning name will be announced on September 14th.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photo: Steinar Myhr /Fjellkjeden