Definitely the March highlight!
The forecast for this Wednesday was just stunning. There was NO WAY we should not take full advantage of this day, and I agreed to meet Anne in Jostedalen after work. Anne had attended a meeting in Jostedalen this day, and even done a ski-trip earlier in the day.
We met at Bakken and headed out at 4pm. I skied Breakulen (1678m) from Bakken in Feb 2016, and took it for granted that I could find the winter route up Bakkedalen. But I didn’t. We started out too high in the forest, and it was a small nightmare until Anne finally found the route.
It was soon clear that the descent would be challenging. The snow was soft, with an icy crust on top. Making turns very hard. But we would worry about that later. Now we were just looking forward to reach the cabins in Bakkendalen – and the sunshine.
From Bakkedalen, we turned north and ascended until we had Dugurdskulen in view. It didn’t take us long to decided the ascent route – the only place where there hadn’t been an avalance…
On the subject of avalances; there are avalanches and there are avalanches. We were definitely not aiming for steep terrain. Smaller avalanches caused by sun melting is a different kind, and they don’t scare us that much. We’re talking big snowballs here…
Eventually, we reached the ridge leading to the summit, and I ran into a technical problem; my new skins didn’t provide grip on the hard snow and I had to put my skis on the backpack. It was really a test of the new skins (Fischer Profoil) – waterproof and something I plan to use on a BIG trip in May.
At the foothills of the summit, Anne also left her skis behind. Skiing on ice is only that much fun…
We reached the summit 2h:34m after leaving the trailhead, and the views just blew our minds!
The time was now 6:34pm, and we both felt it was high time to begin our descent. The sun had given up on the Bakkedalen valley and we realized we would be in for a rough descent. Ironically, the icy snow on the ridge was the best part of the descent!
An icy crust that doesn’t carry our weight is the worst kind. It was a struggle from the time we left the ridge and all the way down to the trailhead. By when we finally were back at the cars, we both felt that we had been on a quite amazing ski-trip. The weather, the light, the views, the effort – everything combined. Very, very memorable!
Pictures from the trip: