Wrapping up 2017
The Christmas break involved everything from a car crash to relaxing days in the Valdres mountains and by Randsfjorden. The time had come to drive the rental car with the bad tires to Sogndal (and subsequently to Sunnmøre).
I didn’t look forward to the drive on icy roads one bit. I had done what I could to get Avis to change the tires, but from a technical point of view, the tires were legal and they did not want to do anything. For whatever it’s worth, when I returned the car on Sunnmøre 6 days later, the local Avis representative apologized when he saw the tires. There was no way I was going to drive this car back to Fagernes (where we picked it up), and fortunately, my insurance company took the drop-off fee.
Stedjeåsen, Dec 30
After returning to Anne’s place in Sogndal in the afternoon, safe and sound, it was time to walk the dog. And Stedjeåsen is a good place to do this, also in winter as eager locals keep the trail to the top open.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and I regretted not bringing my SLR. The Iphone is nowhere near of capturing magic the same way, after the sun has gone down.
Pictures from the Stedjeåsen hike:
Høgehaug, Dec 31
On the last day of 2017, the weather wasn’t too great and the flat light took the fun away from skiing to one of the local peaks. So, we settled for a nice cross-country ski-trip from Rindabotn (by the Hodlekve skiing centre) to Høgehaug.
Høgehaug isn’t a mountain top, just a hill in a bumpy landscape, but as the track machine frequently runs up to this point, it’s a very popular skiing route.
Sogndal is famous for its snow in winter and by the looks of it, they have a decent amount this year too…
When we reached the top, it was quite windy and we had to change shirts to avoid getting too cold. Still, it was cold enough and we only stopped for pictures.
This was my first trip on cross-country skis since I was a young boy (I broke one of the bindings on my back-country skis during the Christmas break). On a track like this, it was quite fun. Even if the skis were screaming out for some glider.
Pictures from the Høgehaug ski-trip:
New Year’s Eve
In the evening, we had been invited to our friends Ane and Jostein – the breeders of the litter that Karma was part of. It was the 2nd time we came there on New Year’s Eve, and the evening was just as enjoyable as the last time. After a fantastic 3-course meal, Jostein kicked off his amusing and very unorthodox quiz.
Being a forward-looking person, I am never able to go back to a random year and summarize it. But 2017 will be remembered, and not only for the better. The year started with a number of violent winter storms. Anne had some issues, including a bad knee, which resulted in less trips together that we had hoped for. In the autumn, we both saw an ambulance from the inside. Me, as a result of a temporary amnesia during a mountain hike and Anne, after breaking a spine in her back. And just before Christmas, we ended up in a car crash (not our fault) where a fraction of a section was the difference between staying clear, or direct front-to-front. The impact was grave enough and car was eventually scrapped. Again, we saw the inside of the ambulance, but only because of the mandatory physical examination after a crash like this. We were both OK, and Karma too.
On the positive side, my first day of the year started with 7 new tops on Fuerteventura. We had a fantastic Easter holiday in eastern Norway, resulting in a heap of new tops. In May, we went to the Faroe Islands and visited some amazing peaks there. The 15-day summer vacation in Hedmark, Telemark and Buskerud resulted in 30 new tops. In the autumn, I was able to get a handful of new peaks in the Sunnmøre alps and the highlight of the year was surely the trip to Morocco and ascent of the highest peak in northern Africa – Jebel Toubkal (4167m). And the day after Christmas Eve, I “bagged” my new top #100 this year – a goal I have met every year since 1999.
Thanks for reading and may you have a prosperous 2018!