No longer in the mountains, but still skiing…
|07.04.23||Storkaldingen||507m||–||Søndre Land, Norway||–||MAP|
|08.04.23||Sjåheimen||610m||57m||Søndre Land, Norway||FP||MAP|
Åltjern, Apr 5 2023
Wednesday: Easter part 1 – Skeikampen – was history and we were now relocating basecamp in the Gausdal region. My good friend Petter Bjørstad (check out his list of ascents – mind-boggling!) had invited us to spend the night at their cabin at Åltjern, before we had to move on for Easter part 2 – Randsfjorden.
No one was at the cabin when we got there (after a short ski-trip). So, then Anne and I went on a ski-trip too and it didn’t take long before we met Heidi and Petter, returning to their cabin.
But now that we had skis on, we wanted to do a forest lap and Petter decided to join us. On the way, we also met Pål Jørgen (one of their sons) returning from a longer lap.
Petter (72) is 13 years older than me, but I have to focus hard on my technique to keep up with him.
After the travel from Skei in the morning and a nice 10,5km lap on skis, it was nice to relax in the cabin. It was nice to be back here – 13 years after our previous (and first) visit.
We enjoyed a delightful dinner, nice red wine and good company in the evening. Petter and I have been friends since the late 90’s and we went on many trips together. I was a rookie in the mountains and Petter was already a very experienced mountaineer back then. I learned a lot from him and had the privilege to come along on memorable trips to Greenland, Rocky Mountains, Svalbard and Jan Mayen. My mountain resume would have been significantly thinner if I hadn’t met Petter…
Trip statistics: 11,2km (incl. trip to the cabin), 155 vertical meters, 1h:50m
Balbergkampen (671m), Apr 6 2023
Thursday: After saying goodbye to Heidi and Petter after breakfast, we continued to Lillehammer where we wanted to hike Balbergkampen. At least, we *hoped* we could hike, trusting the good citizens of Lillehammer had kept the trails open during the winter. This mountain is a bit too steep to enjoy skiing on regular skis.
We drove up to Balbergskaret and found parking there. And sure enough, it looked absolutely possible to hike this mountain on foot!
And soon after, we were on our way on our first hike on foot since March 25.
The path was excellent, and we were not alone in the forest.
I just love being able to get a new pf100 top on a day designated to traveling.
There is a local saying that goes something like: “I don’t care where I am as long as I can see Mjøsa”. And indeed, we could see Mjøsa – Norway’s largest lake – from the top of Balbergkampen.
We headed down the same route for a little while, before turning right towards “Masta”. From this route, we had an excellent view towards Lillehammer.
Then we followed the “Masta” path back to the trailhead.
It was a very nice walk! Afterwards, we stopped by Anne’s friend Liv Jorunn in Lillehammer.
After that short visit, we drove to our good friends Eva & Bjørn in Hov by Randsfjorden. This would be our last basecamp this Easter and we looked forward to see our friends again.
Trip statistics: 2,8km, 270 vertical meters, 0h:47m
Storkaldingen, Apr 7 2023
Friday: Together with Eva & Bjørn, we decided to go to Veståsen for cross-country skiing. As far as we could understand, there was prepared tracks up there.
From Hov, we crossed Fluberg Bru and followed a mountain road (toll) up to lake Storkaldingen (507m). We found tracks there, but only a small loop. Weird…
It turned out that there was an annual Easter event up there and that the short loop was prepared for that purpose. But the organizers had also prepared a 7km loop that we decided to follow.
There wasn’t any top or high point along this route, so I had to convince myself that it’s OK to just ski around in the forest…
In any case, it was nice to be out skiing! For sure!
We were not very far from Store Skjellingshovde and it was too bad that the tracks didn’t go that far.
Before the trip, I was worried that the snow would be too soft for Karma, but she was overall doing OK.
Back at the starting point, the place was “packed”. We were well received as guests and were treated coffee and hot dogs. Very nice!
Trip statistics: 7,7km, 130 vertical meters, 1h:48m
Framstadsæterfjellet (793m), Apr 7 2023
Friday: After the trip to Veståsen, I decided to take a solo trip. I drove to Gran to ski Framstadsæterfjellet from Nordre Ålsbygda. I knew this trailhead from my hike to Hvalebykampen during Easter 2017.
That is, this time I could drive a little longer – down to Storljuget.
I skied the road until I found the summer path to Framstadsætra.
Once out of the shadow, everything was honky dory fine.
By the time I passed Framstadsætra, the snow was getting very soft, and I wondered how fun the descent would be – on narrow skis that I had recently purchased (hence – didn’t know too well)
I’d worry about that on my way down. Now I looked forward to reaching the top. I was glad I had tracks ahead of my, so I didn’t have to waste time navigating. I presumed the top would take me to the top, which they did.
On top, I met I guy who presented himself as Yngve. Don’t get me wrong – I totally believe that was his real name! It was not his tracks I had been following, as he came up from another direction. But he decided to join me on my way down – the same way I came up.
He was skiing on skating skis and was not able to keep up with me. I had already waited for him several times when he suggested that I should just move along. I had a fun and wild ride down the forest. It was in general better to just aim between the trees and hope for the best, rather than trying to control the speed.
This had been another great day outdoors and I had a most enjoyable drive along Randsfjorden back to Hov.
Trip statistics: 5,5km, 360 vertical meters, 1h:17m
Sjåheimen (610m), Apr 8 2023
Saturday: Like the day before, we went on a ski-trip with Eva & Bjørn. But today, we didn’t go far. We drove up to the Flyplassen parking (it’s not an airport…) a few km up the road and headed out from there.
The tracks were perfect, and Eva said she couldn’t remember such good conditions, at this time of spring.
The others were skiing on regular cross-country skis, but I had my skating skis on. Recently glided. I was flying!
And when we came to a meadow that carried my weight (off the track), I had a ball…
As I was “flying”, Karma and I got to Skihytta on Sjåheimen a little ahead of the others.
Then Anne came…
And finally, Eva and Bjørn.
Next up was coffee and waffles…
Waffles for everyone…
This was nice, but now my mind started thinking about the possibility of getting a new top between getting back to Hov and before Easter dinner. In that case, we’d better had to leave soon…
Eventually, I got the others going and we took a different route back to the parking. It was a really fun ski-trip! Man, the skis were fast!
Trip statistics: 12,5km, 200 vertical meters, 2h:01m
Kaperalen (698m), Apr 8 2023
Saturday: We were back at the house at 1:30pm, after the ski-trip to Sjåheimen. With dinner at 6pm, I figured I had time to drive to Gran and Nordre Ålsbygda to ski Kaperalen. I was sort of on the clock here but shouldn’t have any problems.
I got a little stressed where I got to a traffic accident just before Brandbu. Fortunately, I was able to get onto the Bleiken road and drive around Brandbukampen. I got to the Ålsbygda parking slightly after plan, hoping the persons in the accident were OK…
I hadn’t studied the map very much, just memorized the general direction. From the parking, I followed snowshoe tracks and as I saw a “Brandåsen” signpost (the top next to Kaperalen), I hoped the tracks would take me in the right direction.
They didn’t. Instead, they led me in the direction of Svartbråtåberget, which was on the wrong side of the valley I knew I had to cross.
Once I took a closer look at the map and formed a strategy, I really felt I was on the clock. But, I tried to enjoy myself. After all, it was nice to ski around in this forest.
Eventually, Kaperalen came into view and it looked far away!
After a not-so-fun descent, I finally got on the forest road that I really should have followed from the beginning.
After 1,6km along the road, I reached the Kaperalen foothills and wondered where the heck should I go?
Being on the clock, I took the steepest route I was willing to climb, without considering the descent.
Finally, I got to the top area, but where was the high point? It was not clear at all, and I had ski back and forth just to be 100% sure I had covered it all, wherever the high point would turn out to be.
The time was now 3:45pm. 2h:15 until dinner – with hopefully a shower on beforehand.
I followed my tracks down the forest and the skiing was “hairy” at times. I wasn’t on skating skis, but my new CC skis weren’t much wider.
When I got down to the forest road, I decided to follow it all the way until I met the road to Storljuget, that I drove the day before.
From there, I was able to ski alongside the road, back to the trailhead. The time was now 4:45pm, and now I had all the time in the world. The drive back to Hov would only take 30-40 minutes.
After a shower, I could join the others for the traditional Easter turkey…
We would head back to Sogndal the next day, but we made sure to enjoy this beautiful afternoon until its end…
Trip statistics: 10,7km, 360 vertical meters, 3h:12m
Salen (1588m), Apr 9 2023
Sunday: This trip is featured on a separate post...