Monday, October 25, 2010

Garmin Bear leads the way...

The first snow came on Tuesday, so Chris had to get the skis and go for a blast in the park. He was sure he would be the first, but I spotted several other ski tracks!

The weekend came around and the forecast was awful. We were a bit bored. Helen and Ally were also a bit bored. We put our heads together and decided what we needed was a good splurge in the mountains to cheer us up - a cosy hut, some fun times and a little adventure.

So while most of Trondheim was huddled inside on a very snowy and rainy Saturday morning Helen and Ally swung by our place in their little silver car and we loaded on skis and backpacks and headed away into the storm.

We drove through Orkanger and on along the E39. We were heading into the mountains of Nordmore to Hardbakhytte (800m). We turned into a very muddy slippery farm road and boganed around for a while before we found the right road and a little snowy spot to pull off the road.

Helen had snow shoes on, while the rest of us had fjellskis. We originally assumed it would be slower on the snow shoes than on the former - however by the end of the trip this was a debatable thing given our respective rates of progress. Anyway, we skied (or snowshoed) up the road past Gammelsaetra, then up onto the snowy hillside.

We followed some pylons up a gully and into the deep mist. Every now and then we were hit by snow flurries or sleet flurries, and progress was quite slow in the crappy snow. Finally we reached the broad ridge which the hut was somewhere on. The wind was increasing and darkness was approaching. Through all our minds (except perhaps Garmin Bear's) was the trickling thought..."was this a great idea? what will we do if we don't find the hut? we'll have to dig a snow cave....brr that will be %$%# cold!"

We wound our way round icey outcrops and it felt as if we were going around in circles! Suddenly I saw a little chimney and we had walked right onto the hut perfectly! Garmin Bear received congratulations all round (although thoughts of purchasing a real GPS Garmin (just in case) have been creeping into my mind!)

The inviting entrance out of the blizzard

The hut was super cosy, we lit the fire and the paraffin lamps, we even had radio reception as we cooked up a feast for dinner. We slept late in the warm hut, and made pancakes for breakfast, before we finally farewelled Hardbakhytte at 2pm.

My crazy new 'hoof' gloves - which actually work pretty well!
Chris enjoying a pancake....I think?
Helen and her little red crocs

We took a slightly different route back down from the hut, over a little indestinct summit called Hardbakfjellet. The weather was still awful, snowing and windy. After celebrating the summit with a photo we had a rather entertaining time crashing our way back down into the 'happy land' below the whiteout/blasting wind and snow zone.
The summit of Hardbakfjellet, or so we think

Helen is the first to happy land

Helen neatly snow shoed her way off the mountain in a quicker time than it took us fjellskiers, even though we were sliding! I guess crashing takes up a bit of time. Eventually the skiable snow ran out and we plodded back down the farm track feeling a bit tired but very happy to be back in happy land. Just before we reached the car the sky opened up for a final deluge of slushy snowflakes.

The boys...both looking a little odd...
The girls looking beautiful of course

We arrived back in Trondheim around 8 pm - it had obviously been raining all weekend in Trondheim too. We were all very content that our bad weather outing had been much more fun than sitting around moping in cold rainy Trondheim and the Hardbakhytte mission was a complete success (-: