Norwegian Mountains

Vardegga, Jan 29 2005

Vardegga was NOT the plan for this Saturday. 05:30AM, I got up and shook life into a dead dog. Half an hour later, we were on our way to lake Hamlagrøvatnet. The plan was to hike Flatafjellet (1045m) Based on the weather forecast, I expected a GOOD day, and was surprised when it was raining light in the dead darkness. I assumed it was the fog lifting, but when we arrived the lake 07:30AM, it was snowing. The fog hung low at approx. 600m elevation, and I was very disappointed. The interest was gone. There was no way this would be a good weather day, and I had plans for pictures towards Fyksesundet from this mountain. Furthermore, I *had* to be back in Bergen in the afternoon for our G4 (Greenland 2004) reunion party. With this weather, the trip would take longer than I had planned. 07:40AM, I made the decision to turn around. 150Km of driving, all for nothing. Oh well, nothing is ever accomplished without taking chances.

Back home, I *had* to go skiing somewhere. I left the dog back at the house, and drove to Hjortlandsdalen. There was still some beaten-down snow on the forest road in Hjortlandsdalen, and with skins, it was possible to head up the slippery road. When I got to the point where the summer trail leaves the road, other skiers had made a track so radical that walkers hadn't been able to destroy them. It was the last day for snowbridges in January, as they all collapsed after I had passed them. I didn't care, as I didn't expect to return this way.

Already at the trailhead, I had started rising above the fog, and the weather wasn't too bad at all. It had stopped raining, and I enjoyed my gradual climb towards Vardeggi. I caught up with three other skiers, heading for Vikinghytten. Less than 1 hour after leaving the trailhead, I arrived the hut. The ridge was nearly snow-free, and going further towards Grønetuva seemed like an activity for truly desperate skiers. I was not in this category. I spent a few minutes talking with the other skiers. I gave the youngest skier, age 7,5 years, credit for going all the way to Vikinghytten. Not many people on the mountain on a day like this, and especially not in that age.

It started raining again. I took the skins off and ran back down the same way. The skis went incredible fast on the hard snow, and when making turns is a talent that I'm not very blessed with, the descent turned out to be memorable. Especially when racing down the forest towards collapsed snowbridges, without a chance to make a graceful stop, trying to calculate the sequence of movements need to successfully jump across the streams. I made it however, down safe and sound. All in all, a nice trip.

Pictures from the Jan 29 2005 ski-trip

1. Map of the trip (212KB) 2. View from the trailhead (68KB) 3. On the forest road (179KB) 4. In the forest (179KB) 5. View on the way to Vardegga (313KB) 6. Looking up the ridge (321KB) 7. Not much snow on the ridge (113KB) 8. Views from Vardegga (298KB) 9. View towards Gronetuva (230KB) 10. Vikinghytten (86KB)

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