Crossing mountains

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The strange thing about Norwegians is that we endure a very dark and cold winter, and when spring arrives around Easter, what do we do: We go to the mountains to get the most from the last snow. At least 25 percent of the population celebrate Easter by skiing. This year there was a lot of sun during Easter, but that is not aways the case. We go skiing anyway.

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These pictures are from an Easter holiday in 2008, and I went to the mountains with a couple of friends. The Norwegian Trekking Association have about 460 cabins all over the country, to be used by memebers, and 7000 km cross-country skiing track networks. We were going to two of these cabins, but because of bad weather (we could hardly see anything), we turned back after spending the night in the first one. It takes a day to reach these far away cabins, and in the mountains you always have to be prepared for this kind of weather.

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Some houses owned by a hydro power company that we passed on the way. Nobody was there.

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By the end of the day did we reach the big lake Essandsjøen, and we knew we would find the cabin Storerikvollen after crossing the lake. And we were not the only ones going there. The cabin was full of people who looked forward to spending days in the mountains.

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Since this one are among the bigger cabins you get full board during holidays. But basic of course. There are no roads to this place, and no electricity.

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And the next day we returned back, that is another 7-8 hours in the snow, without seeing anything. Never go on a hike like this without a compass, you might not see the trail. More photos from the hike Østby-Storerikvollen.

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51 thoughts on “Crossing mountains

  1. And then when summer rolls around, rather than staying and enjoying your beautiful weather… a lot of Norwegians leave the country “på ferie” and fly further south where the weather is even hotter… puzzling…😉

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  2. I love the images and the whole concept of the cabins and tracks that allow you to undertake these adventures. The last photo is my favourite. I’d hang it large in B&W.

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  3. Wow, those snowdrifts! I have never seen such a thing. But I do live in southern Arizona where we rarely get snow and never a drift. I lived in Montana for awhile and skied way into the wilderness but still never saw snow like that. Love it!

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  4. The life in Norway is not what I imagined. I suppose you have the clothes that lets you enjoy the outdoors. I like the idea of being able to stay outside for such a long time even in winter.

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  5. That looks like such a lovely thing to do. Lots of daytime exertion and then relaxing evenings in beautiful friendly surroundings, thanks Bente I enjoyed that a lot.

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  6. As a child, the Midwest used to get blasted with snow. We loved the 3 feet of snow in one storm dealio. Obviously, still nothing like Norway! I do not enjoy the snow, but it makes me appreciate spring a lot more! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. That was a lot of snow! Ours has mostly gone now but some people are still skiing in the park nearby. – It’s a little colder higher up and the packed snow doesn’t go away as quickly. We have several wood stove warmed cabins for stopping at also. Of course, the area is a much smaller scale!
    Beautiful photographs, Bente.

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  8. Wow. Fantastic photos.
    That snow sure looks deep. I could well understand if some hikers got lost in it if there was a ‘white-out’ situation.
    But it looks so crisp & pure out in the countryside that I am a little envious.

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  9. I’m trying to imagine having enough deep snow to go skiing for Easter! Getting outside so much and being so active must help keep people from getting depressed during your very long winter. The cabin looks so inviting, especially after a long trek!

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  10. Great little glimpse into the XC skiing culture there. I too try to get the most out of the last of winter here. I did not see any snowshoers in your pictures, and that’s great! Here, in recent years, the trails have become dominated by snowshoes. It’s almost not possible to ski on a track any more, unless you go to an organized place where you pay. It’s actually pretty lame. I’d love to get over there and ski one March sometime.

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    1. I have never seen any snowshoes, and I guess it is not a good thing for crossing these mountains. Going to the Norwegian wilderness you need the proper skies, and to be prepared for anything. People have died here in bad weather, even with good skies and mountain clothes. It is wonderful when nothing bad happens, and best when the sun is shining.

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  11. I’m so impressed. Makes the cross-country skiing I used to do seem like baby stuff🙂 We’d go out for a good long trek in the woods, but rarely breaking trail or any place you could get lost. It must have been a tough but gorgeous trek….

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    1. A good long trek in the woods is no baby stuff, Garnish. They say we norwegians are born with skies on our feet, but it is not quite true. But we practice from we are small children, that is, many, not all. Thanks for your comment.

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  12. Ah, looking at your photos, I can easily understand why Roald Amundsen and his team were the first explorers to reach the South Pole. You, Norwegians, are born to make the most of snow! Is the cabin roof insulated with some kind of grass or hay? And is there special accommodation for dogs?

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    1. Yes, this is a very old cabin, from 1897, and the roof is insulated with peat, and there is grass etc. growing in this peat. All the DNT-cabins in this area (the middle of the country, Trondhjems Turistforening) have special accomodation for dogs, that is a special room or a special house. Also the owner sleeps in the same room, and there are dog-cages for the dogs indoors. You have to bring dog food. In other areas you have to check, some have accomodations indoors, some don’t. Thanks for your comment, Gallivanta.

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      1. I am so impressed with the provision made for dogs. We struggle here to find places where dogs are accepted. Interesting about the peat too.

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