Overall, this hike was a delight. I was really happy with how it turned out, even if it wasn't perfect overall. I think there are a few things that I would change if I was to do this again (or recommend that anyone else do it).
Here's how the plan worked out in reality:
|1||Stage 1 (24.3 mi)||Day 1 (21.8 mi)|
|2||Stage 2 (25.8 mi)||Day 2 (30.4 mi)|
|3||Stage 3 (31.0 mi)||Day 3 (15.7 mi)|
|4||Stage 4 (19.8 mi)||Day 4 (22.2 mi)|
|5||Stage 5 (24.2 mi)||Day 5 (22.3 mi)|
|6||Stage 6 (29.4 mi)||Day 6 (20.7 mi)|
|7||Stage 7 (29.8 mi)||Day 7 (21.8 mi)|
|8||Stage 8 (21.2 mi)||Day 8 (23.2 mi)|
|9||Stage 9 (13.4 mi)||Day 9 (28.5 mi)|
|10||----||Day 10 (15.7 mi)|
There were a couple of hard-learned lessons from this trip -- things I'll try to keep in mind going forward. It's not a complete list, but these are the ones that I thought of and resolved to write down that I remembered them :)
I brought my phone and a battery pack. Per the math, the battery has enough juice to charge my phone from 0% to 100% 7+ times. Given that I'm planning for 7 days between resupplies, this is perfect! However, this completely neglected to account for me being ending the trip at 0%. This meant that I needed to scramble in Odda to find chargers & charge things before I began my trip home (7+ hours).
Due to charging inefficiencies and other issues (temperature changes, etc), I wound up with just enough battery capacity. By that, I mean that I walked into Odda with my phone at 1% and my battery pack at 0%. It also meant that I didn't have enough battery to get really good pictures from Trolltunga, and couldn't really consult my map while I was doing the roundabout hike back to civilization. Not great.
Next time, I'd bring a little 2000 mAh battery pack for emergencies such as this. It's only a few grams and would be a big relief in an uncomfortable situation.
If the map says it's going to be a swamp / marsh, it's going to be. Your feet will get wet, period.
On the other side of the coin, if Gaia GPS says that there's a route that's a conveniently-straight line and cuts out a lot of ups and downs .. consider double-checking that against another source. It's entirely possible that it's a mislabeled winter trail, intended to be crossed on skis.
Being a DNT member saved my skin that day with the thunderstorms. (Well, okay, it turned out to not be an issue, but could've been really bad). Even if you're not planning on doing a hytte-til-hytte trip, it's nice to have the option to seek refuge somewhere should you need it.
Being relatively new to Norway, I really enjoyed the hike, end to end. There was a lot of road-walking in the beginning, but it did let me see a lot of the Norwegian villages and towns and cities, up close and personal. However, if I was to do it again, I would likely skip that portion of the trip. Specifically, I would get a ride to Imingfjell and begin the hike there -- that's about the start of the Hardangervidda national park, and when the trail starts to get objectively "good" anyway.
Even more specifically, I would try to hitch as far down that lake as possible -- it's a lot of really really really boring road walking. If someone's driving that way and wouldn't mind giving you a ride to the parking lot at the far end, take them up on it!
If you're strapped for time (or just want to spend more time doing the best parts), there's another option which I think would be stellar. I haven't done this part yet (of course) but it seems reasonable to me -- but double-check during your planning process!
In short, you could take the bus to Eidfjord, and hike south from there to Trolltunga. The sequence of DNT cabins you'd follow would go something like:
I think that route would really treat you to just the condensed highlights of the hike, anyway. Here is a quick-and-dirty route that I would use as a jumping-off point if I was to redo this section.