Janie and Steinar were generous enough to treat us to Mona Lisa (the local pizza place) on Wednesday night, however that meant we didn’t get back until past 10:00pm. Still having to unpack from the day kiting and repack for Thursday and Friday, they delayed our departure on Thursday morning. We took our time, and didn’t begin our trek until close to noon. It was (once again) a beautiful morning.
Let me now refer to my map. We began at a place called Utvikfjellet, sitting at about 662 meters above sea level. We then walked a mere two kilometers before breaking for lunch at Inste Heia. From there we summited our first top: Fløtravarden (869 MASL.) We then crossed on over towards our second top, Snøfjellet. Although we did go downward a little bit, there wasn’t too much of a decrease in elevation yet. “Now do you feel like a true Norwegian?” Vigdis asked me, as we neared the top of Snøfjellet. Although I had been on these type of trips before, this was my first time on fjellski. For those of you who don’t know, fjellski, (or mountain skis,) are very light and very thin. They are ideal for going up mountains, but a little foreshadowing– not so ideal for going down.
I answered Vigdis’s question with a “Yes, I am now definitely worthy of claiming that 25% Norwegian in me.” We joked around for another few minutes about this notion. Now fast forward until we were on the top of Snøfjellet (1006 MASL,) and beginning to ski back down. Let’s just say, I felt pretty much as far away from Norwegian as possible. If there was a record for how many times one can fall within 20 minutes, I destroyed that record. I am pretty positive I spent more time in the process of plummeting towards the ground, and/or on the ground than I did in an upright position. Marit was nice enough to stay back with me, and I mean way back, because it turns out when you fall so much, you’re also super slow. At one point she suggested for me to “just go for it,” and head straight down rather than try to plow my way down. Well, what I was doing was clearly not working so ‘why not?’ A face plant into the mountain: that’s why not. I was definitely laughing at myself, but I was also thinking to myself, “I am never-ever-in-a-million-years getting back on these twig skis.” All of the falling combined with my blisters put me in a sour mood. But I didn’t really realize just how miserable I was until we reached the next mountain top, Dunheia (1165 MASL,) and took a selfie:
Yeah, that’s how my face looked. No wonder people kept asking me how I was doing. When I looked at the picture I actually laughed out loud. Yes, I sucked at skiing down, and yes my blisters were painful, but I had no idea I looked that miserable. I was on top of a mountain watching the sunset, it couldn’t have been so bad.
We skied down 50 some meters to reach a flat area, somewhat shielded from the wind. That’s where we set up camp. Thanks to my cooking group, I had an awesome night filled with lots of laughs. Once we set up our tents we all chipped in building a ‘levegg’ or windscreen; however, the wind suddenly switched 180 degrees in direction after we made dinner. A last minute construction of a new levegg beside our tent warmed us up before slipping into our sleeping bags.
I woke up on Friday morning reenergized after a warm nights sleep. We ate breakfast in ‘bed’ before exiting the tent to see all of the levegget destroyed and knocked over. It had beed a very windy night. We packed up camp and spent the first half of the day summiting Eggene (1093 MASL,) followed by Svinestranda (1140 MASL.) It was once again, time to go down. This time I left my skins on my skis to slow everything down even more. Although it took a lot of mental concentration and there were a ton of super close calls, I only fell once! And to make that one fall even more annoying, It was probably the lamest fall ever. I was standing in line waiting to cross a river, and my heavy bag and I just flopped over onto the snow. So lame, right?
So the rest of the way down, post fall, went smoothly. The ground began to get more and more flat and my skins were beginning to cause a lot of extra work for me; but, it was the homestretch, I just had to power through. When we reached the parking lot, I laid down and basked in the sun until the bus came to pick us up. And when I got back to my room, I did an assessment of my blisters.
Ouch. My feet need a rest.
So this wasn’t the best trip for me, but it was still great. This whole week has been sun-filled which pretty much makes everything nice. I am hoping for another week of sun, is that too much to ask for? Well… I’ll let you know.