This year UWC Red Cross Nordic was invited to participate in the annual Red Cross event ‘Til Topps’, an ascent of Norway’s highest mountain, Galdhopiggen. Til Topps is the year’s most energetic multicultural integration event, supported by a phenomenal team of volunteers who ensured that the day ran smoothly and safely. Over 1000 people joined the event this year.

The aims of Til Topps are as follows:

  • To increase inclusion and improve health.
  • To create long-lasting networks through nature, culture and people-to-people experiences.
  • To encourage friendship and knowledge gained during the trip to continue once the hike is over.
  • To give positive attention to integration work in Norway.
  • To encourage people’s desire to take part in practical integration work in their local communities
  • To inspire people to get out and move!

Five students and two staff members left the College early on the last day of term, driving through spectacular scenery on their way to Lom, where we were based with the Sogn og Fjordane Red Cross.

The evening before the hike, participants were treated to a culture evening with delicious food and exciting entertainment, including a performance by the lively “Awesomnia”.

The big day dawned, we packed up our rucksacks and were bussed to Juvasshytta, where we registered for the hike, received harnesses for the glacier crossing, and set off! The walk was challenging, even for hardy Norwegians, but as always, the thought of reaching the top and the encouraging words and smiles of other participants and Red Cross organizers provided all the motivation we needed.

Although the top was cloud-hidden and the views of the surrounding landscape were non-existent, looking around us, we had a stunning view of happy, smiling faces and groups taking photos. The air was alive with congratulations and a shared sense of achievement.

We are very grateful to the Sogn og Fjordane Red Cross for including us in their team, giving us the opportunity to have this extraordinary experience.