Tips for summer activities: – You never regret a trip

That is what they call themselves due to the fact that they are participants of Ti på Topp, which is an organized tour offer suitable for everyone, regardless of age, physical condition or climbing experience. The Espenes have attended all three seasons of Ti på Topp at Grimstad. The Espenes team is made up of husband and wife couple Øyvind and Kristine Espenes, and with them in the team they have children, sons-in-law, grandchildren and also grandchildren’s choice of grandchildren.

– We started traveling into adulthood, because in our youth we had no time. Eventually we started taking our kids out for walks, and then our daughter-in-law joined us. He has been literally bitten by the turbacillus, he is probably the most excited of us, said Øyvind Espenes, and looked at his daughter-in-law Irene Espenes.

4444 steps

Although it is only mid-June at the time of writing, the Espenes family have long since completed all of Topp’s Ten på tours this year, and some members of the family have completed the tour up to three times. But this isn’t the only trip the family has taken. In the last ten years, some of them have completed the Åmli Top 20 every year, they have been doing parade tours on Sundays for years, walking Skaulofferen, Stifinneren, they have climbed Besseggen several times, been to Galdhøpiggen, Dronningstien, Kjeragbolten , and Trolltunga. They’ve walked across Norway from Trondheim to Sweden, and last summer they walked at Flørlitrappene by Lysefjorden. This is a 10.4 kilometer long walk, which contains the world’s longest wooden staircase that is 1.6 kilometers long, and has a height of 741 meters (829 meters in total).

The Espenes take a trip on Østerskogen, which is one of this year’s bonus trips at Tip på Topp.

There are 4,444 steps straight up. There are high steps, so when 25 percent of the stairs have been climbed, the calves are really stiff. The remaining 75 percent of the stairs you have to walk alone, says Øyvind Espenes.

When his granddaughter Julie was going to study in Nepal, it was natural for her to go hiking in the Himalayas.

Grateful for the pleasure of the trip

The Espenes traveled together, but also separately. They have their own Snapchat group, where they share photos and experiences with one another.

– Especially during a pandemic, Ti på Topp and traveling together are really fun family activities. Then we couldn’t be together any other way, says Irene Espenes. The joy of climbing continues, and the young people in the family also enjoy climbing.

– I was taken on a trip from an early age, and this is how my interest arose. I am very grateful and happy for that, said Julie Espenes, who is the oldest grandchild in the family. She was getting married in the summer, and her chosen one, John Henrik Mulelid, was also bitten by turbacil after he joined the family.

– The family I come from may not be as interested in mountaineering as the group here, although I also loved mountaineering before I met Julie. At first, it was a bit unusual with a fixed touring march every Sunday, but it was great, I really liked it, he said.

Goals are important

Families enjoy hiking, but they have different reasons why it’s so much fun.

– The nice thing about traveling is that you can sweat a little, your heart rate increases, then you can see lots of great places. That’s one of the best things about Ti på Topp, you get travel tips for places you’ve never been before, and ones you probably haven’t been outside of, says Øyvind Espenes.

– When you use your head a lot while working, it’s great to get outside and get some fresh air. It’s good for body, soul and mood. The beauty of Ti på Topp tours is that they are short enough that you can do them in the afternoon after work, and if you need a longer tour on the weekends, you can take several of these tours on the same day, says Irene Espenes.

Her husband Asle had struggled with bad backs for several years, and for him the trips over the rugged terrain and on the trails around Grimstad had improved his health significantly.

The Espenes family jumps and smiles on Østerskogen - Click for large imageThe Espenes loved to travel, and often took cute pictures like this together. In the picture we see the former Asle Espenes, Kristine Espenes, Øyvind Espenes, Irene Espenes, John Henrik Mulelid and Julie Espenes.

Wherever the Espenes were, whether on a boat trip, on a drive, or camping, they were looking for a trip they could take. But do they perhaps have a tip for those who are struggling more with motivation and getting out?

– Traveling is always easier when you have a purpose in mind, as you have with Tip på Topp. Then you have ten travel objectives that you want to complete, and it will be much easier to get started than just getting out of the house and walking around the construction site where you live. A hiking destination, preferably with marked trails, is always a good one, says the gang.

– My best tip is to find the right family, laughs John Henrik Mulelid, before continuing:

– Even if it’s hard to get out, you’ll never regret the trip afterwards.

– This is a perfect family activity, here adults and children can participate together, concluded the family tour.

Better than neighboring towns

This year’s Ti på Topp is going well, but it’s not too late to sign up. The number of participants has decreased somewhat since the start of 2021, but the fun of hiking is still big in Grimstad.

– The first year there was a pandemic there were around 500 participants, last year around 400 people, and this year around 300 have registered. What we saw in Grimstad compared to Kristiansand and Arendal is that people are making more trips as a percentage. That means those who buy apps here use them often, and that’s satisfying, says Kenneth Ånonsen, activities consultant at Bedriftidretten in Agder. They are the ones who manage Ti in Topp Grimstad, working with the Grimstad city government.

This year’s Top Ten contains ten varied tours. This summer, two bonus trips are also planned, one in Østerskogen and one outside the city limits, Hiis Utsikt.

Have a nice summer tour!

Facts about Ten på Topp

  • Ti på Topp is an organized tour offering suitable for everyone, regardless of age, physical condition or climbing experience.
  • Everyone can participate in Ti på Topp. You can participate in a team at your company, as a participant in a team of friends and family, or as an individual participant.
  • Ten tourist destinations in Grimstad will be presented before the start. The activity period lasts from 26 March to 15 October 2023.
  • Through great tour descriptions, maps with marked routes, our own app showing where you are on the route, and rewards, the goal is to motivate people to be more active and experience more of the local area. Its greatest gifts are better physical shape, good health and great experiences of nature.
  • Ti på Topp is organized by the Business Sports Authority in Agder in partnership with the municipality of Grimstad.
  • Information about Ti på Topp and registration can be found at Ti på Topp website. You’ll also find information about Ti på Topp and other great travel tips on the Grimstad city government website

Lance Heptinstall

"Hardcore zombie fan. Incurable internet advocate. Subtly charming problem solver. Freelance twitter ninja."

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