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Finse is an area in the Ulvik municipality of Hordaland, Norway. The railway station at Finse (Finse Station) on the Bergensbanen at 1,222m is the highest station on the entire Norwegian railway system. Since there are no (public) roads to Finse, the railway provides the sole means of transportation to and from Finse. During summer, however, it is possible to walk or cycle to Finse. Across the railway line from the station is housed the railway navvy museum, which has exhibits on the construction of the railway line and two decommissioned snow-clearing engines which you are free to explore. The area also has a hotel (Finse 1222), a hostel (Finsehytta, DNT) and a number of private cabins.

Finse in winter.
Finse station

During the winter, Finse is popular for cross-country skiing, sail skiing (due to its location on the edge of a frozen lake), expedition training and Red Cross training. The ill-fated Scott expedition to the South Pole trained here, and outside the hotel there is a monument to those that died. There is one small drag-lift which allows you to downhill ski on one slope back into town.

Finse is the highest point of the Norwegian Railway System, located at 1222m above sea level.

During the summer the focus switches to mountain cycling, walking and glacier walking on the adjacent 'blue ice' Hardangerjøkulen glacier. The Rallarvegen is a popular bicycle route, from Haugastøl and Flåm.

Finse is home to the Alpine Research Center operated by the University of Oslo and University of Bergen. The Centre began its work in 1972, initially under the title of the High Mountain Ecological Research Station. The Centre hosts numerous workshops, conferences and research projects from both Norwegian and international institutions. It is part of EU-funded International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT).

In March 1979 Finse was the place in which George Lucas chose to shoot the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, because its chilling landscape matched the fiction.

The Finse tunnel, town and the Finse 1222 Hotel are the setting of Anne Holt's 2007 novel 1222.


Tidemann, G. 2010

Kolbjørnsen, M. 2001

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Coordinates: 60°36′N 7°30′E / 60.600°N 7.500°E / 60.600; 7.500