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.
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