Since moving to Norway just over a year ago I’ve become a great fan of ski touring using fjellski (“mountain skis”). Fjellski are similar-ish to the typical cross-country skis that most people are at least somewhat familiar with, but they also have crucial differences: The skis are wider and have steel edges, for sufficient stability outside of groomed tracks. I’ve also had this long-standing goal of finally seeing the Northern Lights, and long story short, I went to combine the two this winter, by taking a trip to Narvik just at the base of the Lofoten archipelago. Originally I was meant to have a teammate for this expedition, but unfortunately she fell ill just before the trip, such that this became another one of my solo adventures.
For this trip I chose to stay in DNT cabins. Getting to the first cabin was a real struggle in white. While still in Oslo, the weather was forecast to be beautiful sunshine. Once in Narvik, that changed to a thick cloud cover and a ton of new snow coming down. Following Fjellvettreglene I had to adjust my ambitious goal of skiing 30 km to Cunojávri, and instead skied 12 km to Hunddalshytta. Navigation was a combination of the GPS on my phone, my topo map, and keeping an eye on the mountain range that I was supposed to follow round along the valley.
Day 2 was the day of all the wild reindeers. I am remote enough that Instagram doesn’t have an appropriate location tag I can use. It had been dumping down a ton more snow over the night and an end wasn’t in sight, so that the ski and views were very similar to the day before, with navigation mainly by means of following the valley along the mountain range to my left. Cunojávri awaited with the most fitting welcome sign post. But someone at the cabin had had phone reception recently and brought some encouraging news about the next day’s weather…
Friday and Saturday had been the price of admission for Sunday. Unsure about how accurate the weather report I got at Cunojávri would be I skied out bright and early again, which meant that I started my ski under a broad cloud cover again. However, it was immediately obvious that it was different today: I could see (and feel!) the sun once it had risen above the mountain range and occasionally I would even throw a shadow. Before lunchtime the sky was almost clear, and by the time I finished lunch I was skiing under a completely cloudless blue sky. The past two days were immediately worth it.
On Monday science calls and I must leave this magical place to answer. Next time I will be back with avalanche rescue knowledge and topptur (randonee) skis.