Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, May 21, 2018.
And this was in mid-July??
I'd suggest investing in a high quality handheld GPS unit, but there's a limit to how far in the high latitudes that those work.
Altitude matters. Back in the '60s and early '70s there were a couple of times that there was snow in Rogers Pass in British Columbia when my grandparents and I drove through there on the way to the Okanagan. That was around June 30/July 1 (we always left the same day I got out of school for the summer, or maybe the next day if we weren't already packed and ready to go).
Back in those days winter was really winter, and we had heavy coats and a shovel with us... just in case.
This is the usual temperature graph for Jotunheimen National Park
I was told that it was an especially long winter that year, so usually in July you would probably see a lot less snow and ice. I felt the effects of this later on in my trip as well
If you're wondering why a place that's only 250km or so north (as the crow files) from Oslo is so much colder, check out this annual mean temperature map of Norway
Jotunheimen is right in the middle of that dark blue part (I'm pretty sure), which is classified as a mountain/tundra climate (Koeppen climate classification). It's got the tallest mountains in northern Europe. Coastal parts of the country have a different climate and get much warmer.
It surprised me too, although I was ready for the temperatures and the snow. It was definitely a kick in the butt type introduction to hiking in Norway
Day 5 - Bukkelægeret (continued)
Six hours of hiking later and I could finally see my destination
There it was! Memurubu Turisthytte, right where the Muru river flows into Lake Gjende
Unfortunately with just about an hour left in the hike I noticed that one of my hiking poles was broken.
The hiking poles were very helpful, so I was crushed to see one of them break so early on in my trip
It was a steep way down to Memurubu
A boat carrying hikers from Gjendesheim to Memurubu can be seen in the distance. On the left you can also see the Besseggen Ridge, which I would be climbing the next day
Getting closer now, this was the final descent
The patch of snow you see in the picture above was not much of a problem, but hidden out of view was a much longer and steeper patch of snow that seemed to be the only way down.
I did not see another way down that looked safe, so I slowly started making my way down the snow. At one point I slipped and decided to just continue sliding down all the way to the bottom on my butt.
Here is what all this looked like from the bottom
Turns out sliding down the patch of ice was a bad idea, as when I got to the bottom I was re-introduced to the sight of blood. Somehow a piece of wood attacked my finger and blood was gushing out at a slightly alarming rate. A quick examination revealed that the wound was tiny and I did not even see any wood embedded anywhere. I did not feel much pain either, which I thought was odd. I quickly covered up the wound and continued on, as I was now really close to my destination.
Arriving at the hut was an amazing feeling. I was tired, sweaty, bleeding, and my broken hiking pole was dangling from my backpack. I showered, tended to my wound, changed, superglued my hiking pole back together, taped it up, and set it under my bed.. I threw my wet clothes in the dry room and joined everybody staying at the hut for dinner. I don't remember what I ate, but my notes point out that I spent $6.30 on a 7-up.
The last entry in my notes for this day reads: "Really enjoyed the crazy hike!"
Day 5 - Bukkelægeret Video
Since I had a goPro strapped to me for the duration of the hike, you will be able to see some of the journey from my point of view. In this case it is slightly sped up for effect, which is something I tried for the very first video I ever edited together using goPro footage.. In hindsight I would have not done the same thing again, but the video is what it is, so you might as well see it. Consider this my directorial and acting debuts
The goPro camera was strapped to my chest, so you do not see exactly what I saw, but a bit more exactly what my chest might have seen. That's almost the same thing though, and you get to see my hands every once in a while which makes it feel a bit like a video game. Either way this was the far more comfortable option for me so that's what happened.
This is basically the "prequel" video for the Besseggen Ridge Hike, which is by far the more famous. That's why I have that name at the top, but not in the title. Yeah I know that doesn't really make sense
I recommend you click the little gear thingy and set your resolution to 1080p and/or the highest resolution you can handle. It looks a LOT better in 1080p
Warning: This video does contain some coarse language
Every time I talk in these videos there will be subtitles and it will be very hard to hear what I'm saying, as I did not have the proper voice attachment or whatever, and the microphone of the goPro picks up sound in front of it a lot better than sound right above it
I am especially impressed by your flight at the beginning ^^.
Nice video .
Thanks! That google maps integration at the beginning took soooooo long to create, unfortunately you will not see it in any other video going forward. Initially I wanted to do it for every single Norway trip video, but I've already created a bunch of these and left out the map every single time.
Bleaker than the high country in NZ. I enjoy your travel posts Warpus.
You seemed to see a fair number of people out there.
Running into people on this trail always gave me a psychological boost. I guess it's partially a sign that you're walking in the right direction, but there's just something pleasant about running into likeminded people. It was also sort of a confirmation that I made the right decision to head out and do this hike, even though the weather wasn't great.
I think all the people I ran into are pretty much documented in the pictures I posted and the video. I ran into most during the first half of the hike or so. Later on the trail I was walking solo without running into anybody for 2-3 or so hours maybe. I did eventually see people far ahead (and below), making their way down towards the hut. I also ran into a lady very carefully trying to make her way down the snow I ended up slipping down
The trail was a lot more crowded for day 2, as you will soon see
I should think it would also be reassuring that if you were to have an accident or medical emergency, you could reasonably expect someone else to be along in a matter of hours, not days.
I was hiking one day at Cape Breton when it was kind of rainy much of the day, and there were other people out, and one took my pic and emailed it to me, because my camera had water in the lens and wouldn't work until it dried out.
Day 6 - The Besseggen Ridge
The hike over the Besseggen Ridge is one of the most popular day hikes in Norway. It's one of the first things I added to my itinerary when I was planning this trip, so I was really looking forward to it.
I woke up at 7:15am and was out the door by 9. Unfortunately my hiking pole fix from the previous night did not work out, and I was forced to snap it in half and attach it to the outside of my backpack. Hiking with just one hiking pole would have to do.
Several hiking trails converge here, including a trail leading up Surtningssue, which is the 7th highest mountain in Norway. And while Gjendesheim was my final destination, the trail I was interested in was the one that would take me over the Besseggen Ridge, which first required a 2 hour long climb.
Looking back about 45 minutes into the hike, you can see the patch of snow I slid down the previous day.
I made it to the top by 11am. It is then that it started snowing (and would not stop until about 4pm)
By noon I could see Lake Gjende again, Gjendesheim somewhere far in the distance at the end of the lake.
You can see the Besseggen Ridge in the distance, disappearing into the clouds
Wheres is the promised youtube video of you eating Surströmming lutefisk ?
I actually didn't come across any lutefisk at all. I don't think it's that popular, and I doubt I would have had any anyway.
I did eat some local specialities though, more on that later!
Day 6 - The Besseggen Ridge (continued)
For long stretches of the hike I did not get out my camera due to "stupid snow in face, sometimes sideways" according to my notes
However, at 2pm a scene unfolded in front of me which I definitely had to take some pictures of
The Besseggen Ridge
I zoomed in to get a better look at the task ahead of me
Getting all the way to the top from here would take 1 hour and 40 minutes
I did not take any pictures at all during the climb because I really had to focus on every single step I took. There was a lot of careful rock grabbing and climbing as well, and as you can see the conditions were not very good. There is some good footage I recorded with the goPro though you will be able to see in the next post.
One of the highlights was a guy who was there with his dog. The dog was attached to a harness the hiker could pick up during sections where the dog just couldn't safely get up to the next rock. I looked at the situation and made a comment that the dog was brave. The owner looked at me and said: "No, stupid dog". Then we all started laughing. It sounds mean to the dog but there was another person there with his dog as well, and some people were there with their kids. I got the feeling most people with me on the trail were hardened veterans who did not feel out of place in such conditions. I definitely did a bit..
The fact that I only had 1 working hiking pole actually worked out in my favour here, as I really did need one free hand for a lot of the climb. It made everything much easier, so maybe the other hiking pole breaking on the previous day was just good luck after all.
Success! After a very interesting climb I finally made it to the top. In the distance you can see where I started the hike the previous day at the end of Lake Gjende.
By 4pm the snow had stopped and the ridge flattened out a bit. I was headed towards even higher ground.
What's that, some sort of a lookout point?
I was very happy that the conditions cleared up a bit. I felt like I was on top of the world!
Gjendesheim can be seen down below. Descent would take over 2 hours.
Still over an hour to go. It was already 5:20pm and I wasn't sure if I would make it to the hut in time for dinner. The last 2 days of hiking really tired me out and I could not remember dinner times at Gjendesheim hut at all. I tried to go as fast as I can, but during many parts of the descent the trail was very narrow, steep, and slippery, and so you had to wait for all the people ahead of you to slowly grab the chain (or the rock) and make their way down one by one.
If you were wondering how big Gjendesheim is exactly...
So close but still an hour left to go
I walked into the DNT Gjendesheim Tourist Lodge at 6:30pm, almost 10 hours after departing the previous hut. Turns out the last dinner was being served at 9pm, so I signed up for that right away, checked in, changed, and spent some time lounging around in the common area and relaxing.
Dinner was delicious, although I can not remember what was served other than Crème brûlée for dessert. I do remember sitting beside a group of 20-something Norwegian hiker dudes who gave me tips on what to eat in the country and how, and a Norwegian family to my right who I had a discussion with about fish.
I went to sleep in high spirits, feeling like I had just gone through some sort of Norwegian hiking initiation, which had thoroughly kicked my butt.
On wikipedia it says most lutefisk is eaten during winter and almost none is eaten in the summer. But it's definitely not every day food.
Day 6 - Besseggen Ridge Video
Here's a video of the Besseggen Ridge hike I put together using some of the goPro footage I brought back with me. If your connection can handle it don't forget to set the quality to 1080p!
@warpus , great to see that you are enjoying Norway, it certainly does look beautifull
A little off topic, do you know any good hiking trails in Eastern Canada? I've done Mont Sainte Hillaire and Mont Orford in Quebec, but I would be excited in trying a hike with a lot of wildlife and a trail that could be done in a day.
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