Storsylan Traverse...to China!


Two days before we were due to leave for Nepal a fairly large earthquake hit more or less precisely the Kanchenjunga area we were heading to meet up with Jamie and Penny. Our first thoughts were concern for their safety in that huge crumbling landscape - luckily they escaped and have lived to tell an amazing tale which you can read about on Jamie and Penny's blog.

For us it spelled the end of our original trip and a rethink given we were so disorganised trying to shift from this continent we have lived on for nearly 3 years back to the other side of the world. How have we accumulated so much stuff?
This has been a familiar site over the last two weeks - brown boxes!

For the time being we had to move from our flat and the opportunity to return to Tømmerholt - Wing's orienteering club house up in the forest - was very tempting. It was quite fitting two, given it is where we began our life in Norway some years ago, although there was a little more snow round then.

This time the trees are showing their autumn colours and the days have either been beautiful crisp and clear, or gray and raining. The hut is so cosy, with the added ability to simultaneously produce 6 waffles at a time!
During the extra two weeks we also did a bit of paddling - and kayaked out to the NTNU Gigaphone in Lademoen
We climbed Jervfjellet after biking around the Jonsvanet via a very alternative route!

Somehow between all the organising and reorganising we managed to squeeze in one more final final really final trip. It was Garmin Bear at his best - heading away from Tømmerholt at 5pm on a Saturday, beginning walking at 7 just at it got dark, without a map. We were in Sylan, a high treeless plateau near the Swedish border. It was a place our friend Bård had always told us was great, so we decided we really should visit it before we went.

The landscape was wide and pitch black. After about 1.5 hours walking Chris decided that based on the map in his head this one wasn't going the right way @#$%! So we took off across the countryside to his 'attack point' which was the side of this huge mountain that we could sort of 'feel' looming up beside us.

We found a fence which Chris thought he remembered, so we followed it up a gentle hill until finally our torch beams reflected a tiny hut sitting on the hill top. After dinner and putting on warm clothes we took this shot - it was 12.36 am!

Of course the result of all this lateness results in further lateness the following day. We had a lazy morning, justified equally by the low hanging mist as by our late night. Being mapless made me less than keen to set off up towards some mist clad summit.

The cute little hut by daylight

By midday the sun was starting to peak through, so we headed away from Fiskåhøgda blinking at the visual complexity of our surroundings compared to what we had missed in our blind journey in to the hut. Lemmings popped out squeeking at us everywhere - one lay belly side up squeeking tremendously before flipping back up and scuttling into the nearest hole leaving me chuckling at these most crazy animals.
Walking up the early slopes towards Storsylen
The mist swirled around but was slowly clearing

We could spot far away reindeer and the occasional ptarmigan complete with white fluffy winter coat. Eventually we reached the rocky ridge which leads to Storsylen (1762 m). The swirling mist made the ascent very atmospheric. We climbed over several false summits before reaching the top of Storsylen just as the mist completely cleared and we could see right down to a blue glacier on the Northern flank of the mountain.

The first false summit - I was busy writing our names in the 'summit book'
The last of the mist billows off Storsylen
Storsylen summit complete with pirate flag
We could finally see down

The day was drawing on as we continued down the ridge which had some fairly tricky spots to downclimb, the drop just off the summit involving me using a Garmin Bear-shoulder-foothold to aid my descent.
Big rock clambering on the way down (I know Amber will appreciate these (-: )
Just to make things a little more complicated I had a preorganised dinner with my great friend Laila that evening back in Trondheim. She was very amused and tolerant of my frequent texting with our progress off the mountain and ever lengthening eta.
Off the mountain finally, stripey poly-pro man marches along

The late afternoon sun threw golden shadows across the already red and yellow hillsides, and lake Nesjøen was still and dark in the cool air. It really is a beautiful and wild area not to be scorned at (Ally). We jogged down across the last marshes and arrived at our car by 6 - hooned home to a very quick shower and off to Laila's for a lovely evening meal by 9pm! Mission accomplished.
The sun sets on the horizon just before we reached the car

Now we are all packed and ready, boxes boxed and bags packed. We are going to China! First we have to visit Stockholm to sort out our visas (and maybe squeeze in a kayak trip in the archipelago) In China we will visit our friends Matt and Lara (and probably Joe the Nomad too) in the town of Dali for a couple of weeks before we go to Tasmania and then finally home.

So bye for now Trondheim! We will miss you so much.

Comments

Anonymous said…
... and we will miss you!! Have a wonderful and exciting journey home. xx Laila
Cris said…
Much jealousness at your constant missions... We'll have to do some in Nov/Dec in NZ. Almost to the stage of buying tickets... :)
lossy17 said…
Thinking of you guys! Have a fab trip, I will really miss your energy and thirst for life here. I am meeting with Helen on Weds to run up that hill near where you lived your last Trondheim days. I can't wait until I get to visit you there in NZ and try a skydive :) xxxx
Kate Pedley said…
Yay! So glad you have managed to sort out stuff for China! Will be an awesome trip home :) Looks like a really beautiful area you were hiking/scrambling in also - love that cute little hut! Very much looking forward to seeing you both in November :) Give our love to La and Matt also xx

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