In the kingdom of the wild reindeer


In the kingdom of the wild reindeer

The reindeer is a species that lives in the high mountains all year round. In the summer, it has enough food over large parts of the mountain area and is somewhat less vulnerable to disturbances.

In the winter, however, the wild reindeer need peace and quiet, as food is very scarce and, in many areas, covered by snow and ice. They therefore seek out areas where it is possible to find food. The reindeer slow down and prefer not to move much during the winter months because they need to save their energy to get through the winter when access to food is very limited.

In the winter, the reindeer often stay along the road that leads towards Route 7 over Hardangervidda, because there is a lot of activity such as snow kiting, skiing, and dog sledding.

It is important that everyone visiting and staying in the mountains take the wellbeing of the wild reindeer into account and behave considerately towards them. The reindeer population on Hardangervidda is Europe’s largest and comprises approx. 5,500 – 6,000 animals.

When the animals come close to the road, the Norwegian Environment Agency will try to communicate this to those who frequent the area. When we know that there are wild reindeer in an area where snow kiting is popular, it is important to keep a distance until the animals have left the area again.

A kiter or skier has a frightening effect on the animals and can make them want to cross Route 7. This is best to avoid because of the possibility of spreading the dreaded disease Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Therefore, avoid using areas where there are wild reindeer.

Our recommendation is that you follow these rules:

  • Listen to advice from the accommodation hosts where you are staying.
  • Stay away from the areas where the wild reindeer are.
  • If you see a reindeer herd, you should turn around as soon as possible and get away from the animals.
  • If you have come too close to turn around, put the kite down and act calmly until the animals figure out what to do.
  • Do not attempt to approach the animals to take a closer look or to take pictures. This will cause a risk of disturbance and unnecessary alarm.
  • If you see wild reindeer from the road – enjoy the view

Waterpower and nature hand in hand

At Halne Fjellstugu, we are interested in local history and storytelling. The history of waterpower on Hardangervidda began with the plans for the development of the Veigvassdraget, which led to Hardangervidda being a protected area. What happened subsequently and how we should take care of our precious nature while making room for important energy extraction are important questions to discuss.

Every evening at 6 pm during the season we host an event where we talk about energy developments on Hardangervidda and how it affects our nature.

Halne Fjellstugu in