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[RD] Hiking through Norway

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, May 21, 2018.

  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 24 - Trolltunga (continued)

    Finally, after an hour in line, it was my turn to step out on Trolltunga.

    I very slowly made my way to the end and very carefully sat down.



    I was so focused on staying alive that even taking pictures was hard. My hands were needed elsewhere! I snapped a couple shots of my feet and did not dare taking a selfie.

    This was all supposed to have been recorded by my goPro, but unfortunately I accidentally left it on while I was waiting in line. My last battery died at some point during that. I have a lot of footage of people's backs.

    At 3pm I started the walk back to the parking lot. The last bus to Odda was due to depart in 5 hours, at 8pm.



    The walk back takes you down the exact same trail as the walk there.. I took less pictures and many of them look similar for that reason. The ones posted here stood out to me as being a bit different



    By 5:22pm I was about halfway back. I was more or less on schedule, but I was starting to feel the hike taking its toll on me.





    With about 3km left I realized that the sun had been hitting me hard and I did not have my sunhat on. Looking back at my (badly) taken selfies, I had a bit of a tan going on even.. and the sun was beginning to have a small effect on my mental faculties.

    I cursed my mistake, put on my sunhat, and tredged on. I did not think to put my sunhat on because on the way there it was just so cloudy. It totally slipped my mind to re-consider the conditions once the sun came out again, it sort of did so gradually and snuck up on me.

    With about 1.5 km left I felt a sharp pain in my right knee.

    I stopped to reassess the situation. The pain was coming back each time I bent my right leg. I had 750m or so of flat walking ahead, but then the steepest part of the trail, straight down.. I gulped down a couple pain pills in gelcap form and hopped forward, trying to only put weight on my left leg.

    This was easy enough on relatively flat ground with a hiking pole, if annoying and slow. Time was running out though and I had to get back to that parking lot before the last bus left.

    The hike down took a very long time. Sections are very steep, making it really tough to get down if you're also trying to not bend your right leg. I had to readjust after every step down to make sure that the next step would lead to me landing on my left leg, all while my right leg does not bend too much. All at the same time people were passing me and I had to get out of the way, which also slowed me down. I had to forget about the pain, the annoyance, that it felt like I had very little energy left in the tank, and focus on every single step one at a time.

    At first I didn't think I was going to make it, but I managed to make it to the bottom by 7:47pm.



    I sat down beside the other people waiting for the bus in relief. I was drained of energy, my right knee hurt and might have gotten damaged, the sun made me a bit loopy as well, and on top of all that I ended up sweating quite a bit throughout the walk. I felt like some parts of my body were chafed right off, and it hurt a bit, but for the time being I was happy to just have made it to the parking lot on time.

    I had dinner at a steakhouse that day. Nothing fancy, just an order of Biffsnadder and some adult beverages. But first I of course showered and changed.

    The last entry of the day in my journal reads: "Destroyed"
     
  2. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

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    FTFY, since he kinda reminds me of..
    Spoiler :
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  3. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Nobody offered to help you after you were injured? :(
     
  4. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    There isn't much anyone could have done aside from picking me up and carrying me down the slope, which wasn't feasible. To most people I probably looked like someone very tired, slowly making my way down and getting in the way. Almost everybody descending at this time was probably trying to catch the last bus as well, so I can understand them focusing on their own descent.

    If I was in serious trouble I would have asked for help, but my situation was that I was going to make it down, but maybe not in time. In that case I would try to hail a taxi or hitchhike back to Odda - not the end of the world, but I was uncertain how easy or expensive that would have been (so I was trying super hard to not miss the bus)

    I've had knee issues before. In New Zealand one of my knees started giving me problems on the Routeburn Track. I don't know if you remember, but one of my knees was unbendable there too, right in the middle of the 3 day long hike. Right at the top of the trail, at the highest point, I was hopping around on one leg and could not bend the other. Luckily I met an Estonian girl who gave me strong pain pills, and she waited around with me up on the Harris Saddle for an hour while we played a board game with a German couple who hiked there from the other side. An hour's rest made my knee feel better and I was able to make it to the hut, but the next morning I had to wake up early and depart earlier, so that I would be able to make that descent and not miss the bus. It was an interesting experience, but it also made me understand what to more or less expect from one of my knees when something like this happens.

    My main objective was, aside from not missing the bus, not aggrevating the injury. That's why I was trying so hard to not bend the knee. I had a hike scheduled for 2 days after this that I did not want to miss, so it took some doing to descend and not miss that bus, but I think the way I did it ensured that my knee healed rather quickly.

    If the situation was different I would have asked one of the hikers who passed me for help. But like I said there wasn't really anything they could have done to improve my situation at the time. If I started feeling that sharp pain way back at Trolltunga, that would have definitely been a cause for a much bigger concern.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  5. Silurian

    Silurian Warlord

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    I have trouble with my knees now and then so I always carry my walking poles so I can make it back too a road. I also carry ibuprofen to help reduce any swelling. If you knee had gone back at Trolltunga you could have well get a ride in a helicopter.
     
  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, I always have gelcap pain pills with me (in a lightweight emergency first aid kit), and I believe at the time I also had a knee brace. The hiking pole I had with me helped a lot. It allowed me to put lots of weight on the hiking pole instead of my right leg. It was not so easy to do during the descent, but it worked.

    I wonder how much that helicopter evac would have cost me.. I always have travel insurance with me when I'm on trips like these, but I'm not sure if this particular trip would have had helicopter evac included
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
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  7. uppi

    uppi Warlord

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    Someone carrying your backpack would have been some help. This would have spared your knee some force, even if it was not that heavy. But it is a difficult thing to ask a stranger for, because it requires a lot of trust on your side that the are not going to run away with it and quite some commitment on the other side, because they will have to wait for you and maybe miss the bus themselves. I agree that other than that, there is not much that can be done short of a helicopter evac.

    I also had some knee problems while hiking a few years back and I found that it helps a lot if you train your knees by doing shorter hikes with long breaks in between before going for a long one. By shifting how you walk you can also put more force on different parts of the knee, so if you start feeling strain on one part you can shift more force to another. It is also important to have good hiking boots, because with proper stabilization your foot and shin can do some of the work that your knee would have to do otherwise.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It was really quite light, I am pretty sure it wouldn't have helped much to have somebody else carry it. It was a small daypack with a light first aid kit, an extra layer clothing, gloves, and not much else. My main problem (leading to the knee issues) are my flat feet. IIRC I was not wearing orthotics on this trip, which means that I walk "wrong", which means that my legs are aligned "wrong", which means that the "wrong" muscle groups get used in the wrong ways when I walk, etc. This usually isn't a problem, but eventually my body will respond. I am pretty sure this is what happened in New Zealand, and in 2012 on my trip to Peru I busted my left ankle via the same dynamics. My physio taught me how to "walk right" afterwards, and instructed I wear orthotics on longer hikes. But I did not take all of that advice seriously enough, and figured that these shorter day hikes in Norway wouldn't really mess with my body too much. How wrong I was..

    In Nepal I had my orthotics in at all times and I felt no discomfort in my knees, feet, or anywhere else in my legs. I have learned my lesson and now make sure to bring my orthotics with me everywhere
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Trolltunga Video

    This video begins about an hour into the hike, after I've already completed the steep ascent.

     
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  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 25 - Successful Arrival in Stavanger

    It was time to depart Odda and move on to my next destination, Stavanger, which is the 4th largest city in Norway. Once I got there I would have completed an upside-down horshoe type route around the southern part of the country.

    For context again, blue lines are buses, black are trains, red are boats/ferries, and you can barely see them but green lines are hikes. The markers are a bit arbitrary in colour, but purple ones are lookout point/activity/hike related points of interest where I did not sleep.



    It was not a fun day for me to say the least. When I woke up I realized the full extent of some of the damage acquired during the hike to Trolltunga. It was not knee related, but all I will say is that it burned and I used cremes and bandaids.. My knee was feeling okay, although I was still a bit too afraid to fully bend it.

    My bus was supposed to depart at 9:40am, but arrived at 12:20pm instead. It was confusing and for a while I did not really know what was going on. The bus ended up having 2 transfers along the way, which was fine, but on one of the ferries I almost missed getting back on.. I basically ran up to the bus just as it was turning on its engine in order to get off the ferry and continue on to Stavanger.. My bag was still on the bus so that would have been a catastrophe.. What happened was I did not realize that the ferry had multiple levels for vehicles and I ended up looking for the bus on the wrong level for a bit too long.. By the time I tracked down a crew member and explained my confusion it was almost too late.

    The timing was really a matter of seconds.. 5 seconds later and the bus would have been underway and I don't know if I'd have been able to flag it down. Norwegian bus drivers are sticklers when it comes to following an itinerary. Even buses to trailheads, where the bus driver has an exact headcount, I always heard: "I am leaving at 4pm no matter what. If you are not here, you will have to arrange alternate transportation to wherever you're going." So after facing the bus driver's not at all impressed facial expression and sitting down.. I felt very very relieved, and under my breath cursed this damn day a bit more..

    When I arrived in Stavanger it was of course raining. My hotel was about a 20 minute walk from the central bus station. I accepted the theme of the day and slowly made my way to my hotel in the rain, still trying to not put too much pressure on my right knee.

    After checking in and tending to my wounds, and doing a bit of yelling, I took a brief nap and then once it stopped raining went out looking for a place selling good fish soup & maybe some other fish dishes.. My hotel was close to the waterfront, and so I walked around and explored a bit of the city, looking for food. I didn't find much really, it was a bit disappointing. Any places that looked promising were too expensive. Instead of local fish though I ended up deciding on an Indian restaurant and treated myself to a great tasting South Asian feast.

    I had a hike scheduled for the next day.. and the day after that. I remember going to sleep feeling better, but questioning whether it would be wise to cancel the more difficult of the 2 hikes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
  11. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 26 - Preikestolen AKA Pulpit Rock

    Preikestolen is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Norway. It is a 25m x 25m flat surface elevated 604m (2000 feet) high above the Lysefjorden, offering spectacular views of the area. It is also accessible to casual tourists, although the hike there and back does take about 4 hours and is advertised as "moderately demanding".



    To get to the parking lot in the above image I had to wait for a bus at a ferry loading point in Stavanger. It took about an hour to get there via ferry and bus and my hike started at about 11am.



    It was a far more casual outing than the hike to Trolltunga. My notes don't say how I was doing in terms of my knee and the other damage received during that hike.. but I do remember still favouring my left leg at this point.





    If you look carefully you can see the trail continue on in the distance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 26 - Preikestolen (continued)

    The final stretch of the hike brings you close to the dramatic drop down to the Lysefjorden.



    There was a decent amount of people up on the pulpit rock.



    Popular things to do were lie down near the edge and pose for a photo.



     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 26 - Preikestolen (continued)

    This was as close as I was willing to get to the edge standing up.





     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  14. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Warlord

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    *feeling a tingling sensation in knees*
     
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  15. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 26 - Preikestolen (continued)





    On the way back. Still about 50 minutes left until the parking lot





    Note that the arrow points to the parking lot. You can spot Preikestolen overlooking Lysefjorden just to the right.

    This was a much more relaxed hike and I easily arrived 45 minutes before the scheduled bus departure.. Gave myself more than enough time to get back, just in case my knee decided to act up again.. which it didn't!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  16. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    They put a lot of work into building that staircase.
     
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 26 - Some pictures from Stavanger



    After returning from the hike I walked around the waterfront and city centre hoping to find a good place too eat dinner. It took a while, but I didn't really get that many good pictures along the way.



    I settled for meatballs and fish soup at a slightly overpriced restaurant by the waterfront and went to sleep early, in anticipation of the tough hike I had planned for next day.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Pulpit Rock Video



    This video gives you a slightly different perspective on the hike to Preikestolen and what it's like on top of the pulpit rock. I recommend watching it in 1080p
     
  19. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    The Sherpas did, yes:

     
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  20. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Day 27 - Kjeragbolten

    Another day, another hike! I woke up early as the bus to the trailhead was departing at 7am.

    This trail was right by the Lysefjorden as well, although it was a bit further away from Stavanger than the Pulpit rock. If you scroll back to this post you can locate both hikes on the posted map.



    Above you can see the the elevation profile of the hike. I would have taken better pictures of this sign (at the trailhead), but the weather conditions weren't great and I was rushing to get started. The bus driver reminded us more than once that he is leaving exactly at 4:30pm, no matter what, and that the trail was slippery and would take longer than usual.

    As you can see there's essentially 3 ascents along the way and 2 relatively steep descents as well. My notes call the hike "crazy" and make reference to rain and "crazy winds". The first ascent has chains almost right away, giving you a good taste of what's up ahead. The chains were necessary as the ascent was steep and and you were for the most part walking on bare slippery rock.

    Looking back at the trailhead parking lot, just a couple minutes into the hike:



    Unfortunately there are no pictures at all along the way, due to the weather conditions and the technical nature of the hike. The next picture I took after the one above was when I was already at my destination, the kjeragbolten rock:



     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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