Distance 0km | Time 0hrs | Ascent 0m | Descent 0m
Despite reasonably 2 reasonably long days in the recent past I was dissapointed when I heard the wind roaring outside. I had wanted to get to Haukeliseter today. There was no chance however of finding ones way in this blizzard. It was also snowing heavily and I think it had been all night.
So it was back to bed. I got up again at 0900 and decided I needed to find a way into the other cabin. I got dressed up for a wrestle with the blizzard and spindrift. I waded the 100 metres to the other cabin and started digging.
About half an hour later I had started to uncover the door and another half hour later had completely cleared it. It was lucky I carried a spade. Essentially to dig a snowhole if need be but also good to excavate cabin doors. I was white with spindrift. I went in an lit the stove.
I then went back to the small cabin, a hut really, packed up, tidied up and migrated up to the main cabin. It was already warming. I soon collected snow for melting and by midday was ensconsed. It was a wild day outside. I think it was snowing heavily in addition to the spindrift getting blown around, but there was no way to tell.
On relooking at the map I wil take a detour off the recommended winter route to Haukeliseter tomorrow. I would never have even considered this route had it not been marked on the map. This detour will go to the east acros some lakes.
The recommended route goes through rugged terain and a deep slot called Turistskardet. Last year a friend of mine, Ole, with whom later had the pleasure of skiing the length of Josterdalsbreen ice cap with, was also skiing the length of Norway this time last year. It was poor weather as he skiied through Turistskardet.
Suddenly and without warning Ole was bundled about and then came to rest. He was as if set in concrete. He dident know it but he had just been buried to a depth of 5 metres in an avalanche. That is the height of a house. Unable to move a finger and trapped with his skis, poles and rucksack still on Ole thought he was dead and passed out.
When he regained consciousness he found he had melted a small circumference around himself. Slowly by bashing his head and scratching with his fingers he managed to excavate some breathing room and free an arm. He then had to dig down compressing snow to get to minimize it to free his boots from the skis. He couldn’t so he undid the laces and bootless clawed and scratched his way to the surface. I can imagine the relief when some 9 hours later he emerged into the night.
He put then tent up and spent a couple of days recovering in it. When his strenght returned he had to dig down the 5 metres to retrieve his boots and skis. He then continued to Haukeliseter and after a short break continued north to reach Nordkapp as planned. It is only because Ole is so tough, even by Norwegian standards, that he did not panic too much and give up. Any lesser mortal would have been there until the spring melt.
Yes, so I think I will give Turistskardet a wide berth as a lot of snow has fallen in the last week and conditions are similar. This is one of the main problems with the lack of visibility in a blizzard, namely you cannot see what dangers you are flirting with. The wind, even gale force, is a minor irritation.
As I write about the wind I have just noticed that it had died off entirely this evening. There is hope yet for tomorrow. I am a bit concerned that I have taken so long with 6 weatherdays to traverse the Setersheiene mountains but they are one of the slower sections and I still have a very limited 7 hours daylight. In 2 months when it is flatter, I am fitter, and the weather is more stable I will have 13 hours daylight and increasing. So although my progress so far looks pawltry on the larger map of Norway, things will speed up.