Friday, 30 September 2016

A preview of winter

It has been an amazingly warm September I must say! Till about the last week :). I've had this before, where the weather seems to flip a switch, and summer turns to full blown autumn in a couple of days. But let's look back at the sunnier days to start with!

The very first weekend, we decided to go for a hike! Not just any hike though, the hike to the top of the tallest mountain in Norway, Galdhøpiggen! And boy was I out of shape :(. It had taken a 6 hour drive on Friday evening to get us up to the pretty fantastic DNT lodge at the start of the hike. The last half hour being on gravel roads that seemed to go on forever, twisting in the dark through what felt like a deep forest :). More on that later.

The morning of the hike brought a bit of mixed weather, a few drops mixed with bits of sunshine. Having made short work of a sizeable breakfast, we set off! Up we went, and up and up and up! The hike isn't a particularly tricky one, it's just relentlessly uphill :). And starting from about 1000 m altitude, climbing up to the summit at 2469 m is a pretty long way!

I would have felt worse holding up my companions as I did with my frequent stops to let the pounding heart rate settle somewhat, but I was too busy feeling sorry for myself :P. And being entertained by the changing landscape! Where we started the hike, it was all green and summer flowers. As we climbed though, the trees then bushes disappeared and the rocks started getting a bit white. It was actually snowing! In September!

Once we made about half way up, there was proper snow on the ground and then finally, for the last few hundred metres of climb, it was as if we were back in winter! This was the land of permanent snow, a mountain surrounded by glaciers! To be fair, on the way up, the most awesome thing about getting to the top was gaining access to the covered hut :).

An hour or so later, having warmed up and recovered somewhat after a lunch consisting of injudicious amounts of Nutella, we emerged from the hut to find more swirling snow! Not long into the descent though, the sky started clearing up a bit around us! And then the views were truly majestic!

Eventually we did make it all the way back, and were extremely grateful that we had decided to spend another night at the lodge before heading back to Asker the next day. When we did finally drive back, the 'deep forest' turned out to be no more than a few trees here and there next to the deep gorge of a river :). Fantastic drive in the daylight though!

Since then I've been a bit more active, a bit of cycling, a bit of running. Some walking in the sunshine. But eventually a week or so back the trees finally started to change colour. A last hurrah for the summer before the evenings get too long :).