Påske Adventures

Easter holidays arrived along with one Cris Lovely all the way from Germany where he has been hanging out on a ski field speaking German and hiring out ski boots for the last 3 months. The first couple of days we spent in Trondheim having fun at the climbing gym and going out for dinner, as well as inflicting some cross country skiing on Cris.
Cris out for a taste of Norwegian langlauf
We had a couple of very fine warm days, so the snow was slushy but still ok for skiing. Over the first weekend of the holidays we caught a bus to the Tydal area (about 2 hours from Trondheim) and skiied into the Græssli hytte, this being our third visit into that cozy little hut. The weather wasn't great so we just mucked around on Sunday and did some 'ski runs' up and down the hill making use of our skins and nice new randonee equipment.

Blue berry pies were eaten at the Bare Blåbaer cafe, mmmmm
Chris had to work until Wednesday, then we packed up our gears and piled it all into a rental car on a journey up North to the Svartisen. On the map it doesn't look so far, but multiple ferries and very small windy roads meant it was a 13 hour journey to the start of our ski.

Lots of skis packed into the car (and one squished Cris)

We drove for about 5 hours on the Wednesday night before finding a snowy flat patch to pitch our tent by the side of the road.
Camp one, a little snowy

In the morning we still had a long way to go and it was also extremely windy, so we decided a day of driving and sight seeing sounded the best plan - the hut where we planned to ski to is at over 1000 m, so if it was windy by the sea then it would be a blizzard up there!

Spectacular coastline

The stormy weather made the scenery even more dramatic

An unlikely sea egg amongst the mosses and lichens
Playing on the rocks

Chris got so hot that he decided to do some trouser-less ballet on a rock (actually he had to rescue a plastic bag which blew into the sea)

Fishing huts

Lunchtime in the snow
One of the ferry crossings

We drove along the spectacular coastline, and after Mo i rana it just became more and more amazing. The peaks pop straight out of the fjords, and white caps and white crested peaks gave a very wild feel to the landscape. Chris decided a thick patch of snow would be quite suitable to hoon through in our car - needless to say it got stuck and a whole pile of amused Norwegians helped us to dig it out! Hmmm!

Stuck! Emily was not very impressed, but the Norwegians who helped us out were!

After some debate and driving around we settled on another snowy patch to put our little tent on and cooked up some dinner in a little wooden gazebo thing on the beach while it got dark.

The day dawned sunny and clear after snowy camp spot number two

The following morning (Easter Friday) was beautiful and clear, the wind was still high but had eased off from the day before. We drove the final hour through some huge tunnels, with the occasional glimpse up to the Svartisen from the road. We turned onto a very tiny road which lead to the start or our route. Our tiny car with its not ice spiked tyres struggled up the steep icy road, then into this crazy spooky pitch black tunnel which climbed steeply into the mountain. We only just made it up the tunnel, bumping past several large ice chunks which had dropped from the ceiling of the tunnel onto the road.

The spooky tunnel

The ice slick valley we emerged into. You can see why we were worried about making it in our little rent a car with spike less tyres.

Finally the end of the tunnel appeared and we found a very slippery clearing to park our car. It was breezy and cold in the little mountain valley, and it took us some time to organise our gear so we were quite cold when we finally headed up the mountain. Chris was on fjell skis and Cris L was borrowing his randonnee skis because he wasn't so confident on the fjell skis - they are much trickier with no skins and a free heel and crappy boots.

Setting off on our skis finally after 2 days of car travel

Climbing the slopes up to the Svartisen

Fjellski man on the move

Up we went until we reached the massive white sea of the Svartisen. At this point we realised we had foolishy failed to fill any drink bottles, and as we had not yet had anything to drink all day we began to feel rather thirsty. I found licking melted snow off my skis an effective way of refreshing myself - the others were not so convinced (-:

Ski licking for water, quite effective I found!

Up on the glacier, imagine howling wind, not the calm this photo implies

Up on the glacier the wind was blasting and we felt like polar explorers as we slowly made our way across the gigantic ice sheet.
The windswept glacier

After lots of hours we finally got to a very gradual down hill slope in the glacier and the wind had turned into a tail one - off came the skins and we sailed away at a much faster pace towards the hut. The view all the way to the fjords opened up below us and it was just so spectacular and amazing to arrive at this hut perched right on the edge of the giant glacier.

Looking to the ocean from Tåkeheimen entrance

Made it to the safety of the warm hut!

The view out the windows of the hut
What a cool spot

Looking back towards the glacier where we came

Sunset out to sea

The hut was warm and cozy, but the setting sun outside lured us out to snap many photos of the breathtaking view as the sun set. After large cook ups of soup and hot food we felt better - so when I headed outside for a pee and suddenly realized I could see the green Northern lights shooting through the sky we were outside again for some more late night photography!

The Northern Lights

The next day was still clear, but windy again. Great billows of spindrift could be seen way out across the glacier; so it was pancakes in the hut and some good morning laziness. At lunchtime we were surprised by a big group of red cross men on their snow scooter arriving at the hut - they were also surprised to see us. It turns out that once a year they get special permission to 'test' the mobiles for a day within the national park. They were very much enjoying their day to bogan round the park on the mobiles I think. They were very friendly and we shared a cup of tea before they headed on their way.

The Glomfjord Red Cross out for their training day

Chris decided to dig a path to the summer toilet - which we never actually found - but he did make a very nice path to nowhere!

In the afternoon Chris and I decided to climb the Helgelands Bukken which rises up from behind the Tåkeheimen hut. It turned out to be a rather scary wee climb because there was a huge cornice that was hard to avoid, and some considerable drops down into the valley. The view from the summit was rewarding though, and we very carefully down climbed and down skied our way back to the hut.

On the way up Helgelands Bukken

On the summit, heaps of sastrugi and a great big cornice to my right

Cris captured us way up on the ridge with his zoom lens, he was at the hut

Back at the hut ready for a hot soup

Sunset again

Easter Sunday was sunny again, and finally the wind had died, so we had a really nice trip back across the glacier to our car.
Cris avoiding the bees? There wasn't much living up there that I saw!

Across the glacier, looking towards Helgelands Bukken which Chris and I climbed the day before.

Blue ice cliffs tumbling into a frozen lake

It was a long way and we were all pretty tired when we finally arrived at the green car. I had a big blister on my ankle and Chris had a sore arm after he crashed on the fjell skis, feeling a little sore is always the sign of a good trip though (-: The Tåkeheimen hut is a magical place I will always remember, maybe I will make it back there some day.

We drove very carefully down through the slippery steep tunnel and back out into the shining warmer valley down below. Much of the snow had melted around the seaside during the days we had been up on the glacier and the feeling that spring was on its way was everywhere.
Looking across the lake towards our hut (It was up on the glacier plateau at the head of this valley; we accessed it from the other side)

Three adventurers, yeehah!
We timed it just right to take the first ferry across one of the crossings, but then got stuck at the next crossing by narrowly missing that ferry - so we decided that was a good time to look for a camp spot for the night.

We found a beautiful little place to put the tent in a paddock overlooking the ocean and the setting sun. It was a bit breezy, so we cooked tea then hopped into the rather squished tent for the night.

A nice campsite. Cris also decided to make a hut structure to sleep in - very waterproof!

We cooked tea while the sun set.

The next day we had a big drive to get home, plus two more ferry crossings. It is a beautiful drive down beside the coast and we had numerous picnic stops along the way. After driving and driving and driving we made it home around 10pm, our place quickly turning into a bomb blast sight after all our smelly gear was strewn around it in the rush to unpack the car, have tea and get ready for work the next day. Fortunately Cris was around the next day to help deal with the mess (-: On Wednesday he headed back to Germany to take part in a high ropes instruction course and that was the end of our påske adventure!

Looking a bit scruffy on our return journey

Skiing on the Glacier, yah


Helen Palmer said…
Woweee! Lovely photos Em!
steve said…
Wow, that looks soo amazing. Very jealous of your adventures. Great photos too. Got yourself a flash new camera? Steve
john said…
Awesome - nice pics. x
Anonymous said…
Oh my goodness - that is just gorgeous! And the Northern Lights - perfect :-) xx F+N
Emily said…
Thanks guys! It was an awesome trip and we had 3 of Cris L's cameras with us - the main that we used in these photos being the digital SLR. We are now thinking about upgrading our 8 year old camera after playing around with all Cris's nice cameras :-)

Hope you guys had some neat Easter adventures as well - F & N I am still waiting for a new post on your blog!
Kate Pedley said…
WOW!!! Awesome place and trip! And you got to see the northern lights - awesome! Thinking of you both and will try to write a proper email soon to catch up :) xx
Pip Courtier said…
amazing photos- love the sunset over the fjords- and the northern lights! xo

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