Valtjernknatten, Syni, Dec 29 2020

Our last full day at Vaset

The 26,8km route today
Tops visited
Peak/Place Height PF Location
Valtjernknatten 1061m 43m Nord-Aurdal, Norway
Syni (Synet) 1137m 124 Nord-Aurdal, Norway

Tuesday, Week 53:  This was our last full day at Vaset, Valdres and the weather was just as miserable as it had been for the past 3 days. Except for one thing – there was hardly any wind. Fortunately, the snowfall last night was modest – which meant that Karma would stand a better chance in the prepared tracks.

I’m not like other cross-country skiers, who set their eyes on a signpost somewhere, or go for a specific route/round. I’d like a top or a hump as my target and today, I had set my eyes on Valtjernknatten. This was only because I could see on that the Valtjern route had been prepared during the morning hours. The remaining distance would be along a road and then 100 off-piste meters which I was sure my skating skis would handle.

Anne decided to set her own departure, pace and target and so I left the cabin – expecting to see her and Karma somewhere later in the day.

Approaching Gomobu, looking back on Ålfjell

When I reached Sauhølen, I got on the Valtjern route and concluded that if it hadn’t been for the sticks, I would not know where the tracks went. My eyes are not that strong anymore and the fog was THAT thick. I had to do some trickery to the pictures so they actually contain something. You can easily tell they have been tampered with…

On the Sauholen – Valtjern route

The Sauhølen – Valtjern route was 3,2km (the signpost said 3,6km) and was altogether an easy transport leg. The pros left me in the dust, but I was not the slowest person in the tracks either. I was happy with the glide and my pace.

Valtjern – check!

At Valtjern, I followed the Mjølkevegen road for 0,4km before I headed off-piste towards Valtjernknatten. I could see two skiers making slow progress. I actually got to the top before the 2nd person got there…

Valtjrenknatten ahead. I was not the last one on top!

It turned out to be father and son out practicing randonee skiing. The dad looked at my skating skis “the surprised way”, but after a little chat I think he abandoned the “this guy is mental” mindset. We had a good talk and I headed back down. I had totally the wrong skis for this type of descent, but fell only once.

View from Valtjernknatten

Then I skied back to Sauhølen, learning along the way that Anne and Karma were heading in that direction. We reached Sauhølen almost at the same time and had a discussion where to go next. We ended up with Syni as the destination, as we knew there were tracks all the way to the top. And – the distance was only 5km+.

Once we passed Nystølen, the route was flat and easy. I had blown off quite a bit of the “steam” I had when leaving the cabin, but was able to follow Anne’s pace. She’s technically a much better cross-country skier but I compensate on my strength.

On our way to Syni

Eventually we reached the top of Syni. Visibility was close to zero, but other skiers made for good landmarks in the terrain. It was nice to be up here again, this time without the incredible struggle I had the day before, when the final 700m to the top was off-piste (as I didn’t know where the old track went – buried under 20-30cm of fresh snow)

Anne and Karma on top of Syni
Lighten up, Karma! Only 9km back to the cabin!

We had ~9km back to the cabin, mostly on flat terrain before the downhills started near Gomobu. Karma ran and ran and I was really impressed with this 8 year old girl who showed no interest of leaving her bed this morning. The skiing trips have clearly been hard on her, but today, you could not tell that she (soon) had done almost 100km of running and walking along the Vaset routes.

Back at the cabin. The recent snowfall is seen on the car…

But after the trip, I found that I had done 100,1km of skiing in the 6 days up here. Reaching 100km wasn’t a set goal, but it’s “always there” when we rent a cabin in winter. For seasoned cross-country skiers, knowing their equipment, how to prepare the skis and all that, that distance isn’t impressive at all. But I’m not in that category, so for me – this was a big win.

It had been a lovely stay at Vaset, and we got to do most of the things we hoped for, and some we didn’t plan for. Except Grønsennknippa, but that top we’ll come back for one summer’s day we’re passing through.

Trip statistics: 26,8km, 550 vertical meters, 3h:50m

3 thoughts on “Valtjernknatten, Syni, Dec 29 2020

  1. Very nice posts and congrats for your 100k skiing achievement.
    The location you are, is very inviting for such activities and I wish you all the best and to enjoy it.

    Also, best wishes for 2021

    Greetings from Greece

    1. Thank you very much! I do appreciate the seasons. And thank you for your impressive site. It will be the first go-to for us when we set our eyes on mainland Greece. So far, we’ve only visited Crete and Rhodes. So many places to go … except for just now ;(

      1. Thank you for visiting the Olympus Mountaineering blog and indeed, Greece has much more than the -beautiful- islands.

        Happy New year and hopefully I will soon be able to visit Norway once again for some hiking.

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