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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars

 

Norway - 4 August, 2004

 

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Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Snota west flank, Trollheimen (bush campsite enroute to Snota summit) N6251.350' E00908.032' 862 meters .
Snota summit N6250.864' E00905.658' 1,680 meters 4 km (on foot)
Snota west flank, Trollheimen (bush campsite enroute to Snota summit) N6251.350' E00908.032' 862 meters 4 km (on foot)
Finish Trollheimshytta, Trollheimen N6249.745' E00914.354' 534 meters 8 km (on foot)

Total (BMW 330CiC)

15,232 km

Total (other):

5,291 km

Total:

20,523 km

 

Weather: Mostly cloudy, occasional sun (strong glare) and hot.  Cool/cold overnight.

 

 

We are up early this morning - we are to climb to the summit of Snota.  We get out of bed shortly before 7 AM and have a light breakfast.  Before we leave, we arrange our gear and bags in our tent and then start hiking at around 7:30 AM.  From here, the hike is pretty much straight up the whole way.  And looking from here, we are trying to figure out how the route will get us there.  But we trust in the map and the markers.

 

It is a good thing that we begin the first, steep climb up fresh and did not attempt it the previous night with our gear and after a long day.  It would have been a killer.  Now we make pretty good time up the steep path to the flat area above with it's few small ponds.

 

From here we start the multiple "S" shaped path that winds it way up the mountain following the path of least resistance.  It is pretty much steep the whole way.  At times the trail is very narrow with a cliff face rising up on one side and falling down on the other.  Some times it follows the path of a stream, so it is slippery and wet.  Often there are rocks and boulders that have to be negotiated.  And then there are plenty of snow fields, with the frequency growing as we get higher and higher.

 

On the way up, the snow fields are tiring and wet and slippery.  Our feet would sink in and we would slide back half a pace for each pace taken. Where we could, we would hike along the rocky surface.  The views were spectacular the whole way up.  When we reached an altitude of about 1,300 meters we come upon a couple of huge snow fields.  They sloped down to the side towards a small bowl filled with an ice encrusted pond.  We had to traverse these snowfields, slowly making our way up.

 

And then at about 1,500 meters the snow field ended and we were on the final stretch.  While the slope was not too steep, the ground was covered with these small boulders and we had to hop from one to the other.  We had to make sure not to lose our balance and fall between the rocks.  It was not much longer and soon we were at the summit - reaching it just before 10 AM.

 

What a magnificent mountain top.  The peak of the mountain is pretty much surrounded on all sides by vertical cliff walls, other then the small section we approached up like a ramp.  It is exhilarating to stand up there and look around in all directions and see nothing but snow covered mountains.  At first, we have the whole place to ourselves - we are the first to have reached it today.

 

We find a nice spot to sit back and take in the moment.  It is so inspiring and make the whole climb well worth the effort.  We have some light snacks and take a drink from our water bottles.  There is a huge cairn that has been constructed and a box has been attached which contains a guest book.  We sign our names to the short list of others that has been here this year.

 

After hanging around for a bit over a half hour, we decide to make our way down.  Now, with the snow, the way down is much easier.  We spend as much time as we can in the snow fields.  Going down, we can pretty much run and slide the whole way.  It is so much easier than going on the rocks.  Lots of fun - just need to make sure that we do not slip and slide down the slope.

 

On our way down we pass a number of people on their way up.  There is one women just wearing shorts, a bikini top and a hip pouch.  She is certainly counting on the weather holding.  Once we leave the snow fields, our downward progress is slowed as we need to negotiate the rocks more carefully.

 

Shortly after noon we arrive back at our campsite.  We then spend the next hour or so packing up our tent and gear, having lunch, filling our water bottles and having a short rest.  Then it is time to head down to the hut where we will spend the night.  The walk down is not too bad.  We make our way along the up and downs on the flat area.  Lars makes one mistake.  After about 30 minutes of walking he realises that he has forgotten his hat back at the camp.  Jacqui heads on and Lars drops his bag and jogs back to the camp to retrieve his hat.

 

The steep climb down the ridge to the river and bridge seems much shorter and easier than yesterday.  The only thing that is not easier are the wet swampy areas that we need to navigate around.  These detours must have added a good 10% onto our walk.  Once down at the mini-suspension bridge, we cross over and walk the short distance to the hut.

 

We get to the hut at around 4 PM and check-in and get assigned our room.  There are no double rooms here and we will need to share with other hikers.  We are the second couple to arrive, so we are able to grab two of the better bunks in the room.  The next priority is to take a shower - badly needed.  We scrub off the sweat, grime and mud of the last three days.

 

After sorting out our stuff and hanging any wet stuff up in the drying room, we make our way down to the common areas to hang out, relax, do some reading and have some snacks.  People are slowly trickling in and the place is pretty full by the time dinner is served.

 

Dinner is served in the large dining room on long tables that sit about 8-10 people.  The process is quite formal - the head staff member waits until everyone is seated and then makes a short speech, which seems to cover a number of topics, including the menu.  Dinner is an interesting affair - everything seems to have been boiled.  We have chick peas soup followed by boiled sausages, boiled salted pork, boiled potatoes and boiled mashed something.  For dessert we have canned pears.  The good thing is that we can have as much as we want.

 

After dinner we retire to the lounge for coffee and cake.  We make the mistake of trying to help ourselves, but soon learn that it cannot start until another formal speech is given.  Here we are told a bit about the history of the hut, the weather forecast for tomorrow, the 1,000th guest (I think) and some other things (it is all in Norwegian).  And then we can dig in.

 

We hang out there for almost two hours, enjoying the drinks and snacks and good company.  We chat with a number of the people who are all very friendly.  And then we decide to head off to bed.  We expect to be getting up a bit earlier then everyone else tomorrow morning.  In any case, it turns out to be our worst night's sleep in a long time.  There is some awful snoring, it is hot and there are tons of mozzies buzzing around and biting us.  There was also some strange banging in the night.

 

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