Day 27. Litlos to Hadlaskard

Posted by: James on January 27, 2009

Distance 21km | Time 7hrs | Ascent 200m | Descent 420m

Day 27. Sunrise after leaving Litlos cabinWhen I woke at 0630 the skies seemed clear and were still full of stars, with a warm glow to the south. Again it was completely windstill.

I had breakfast and was away by 0830. It was very cold outside, perhaps minus 15 or even 20. The snow was becoming firmer now after a few days and it squeaked as my ski pole twisted in it.

I went directly north to Skadvatn lake initially. Behind me was a yellow sunrise but to the north the whole sky turned a bluish purple as the sun came up, perhaps as an indication as to how cold it was. As I reached the north end of Skadavatn lake the first of the suns rays warmed me slightly.

It was going to be a rare day, a perfect weather day. At last after a good 2 weeks since the last one across Blasjoen. Frost sparkled in the sun as my skis drove forward towards the large knoll of Brakanuten. If I was going south I would have needed glasses to avoid snow blindness.

Day 27. Looking south down my tracks from BrakanutenIt was fantastic at last skiing with a clear view. I could relax as I skirted round the odd snow drift or meander up the occasional smooth open gully to the pass on the east of Brakanuten. It was marvellous skiing, almost spiritual in its rhythmic meditation.

At the pass I took the short skins off as they were slowing me up slightly and it was mostly down now for another 12 km. I gently descended passing many fox tracks. There were also a few ptarmigan signs. It seems in the bad weather these birds simply bury themselves up to their necks as I passed many pockets with droppings in them. Obviously with a foxes keen smell they have to sneak up on a semi buried ptarmigan without disturbing it.

Just before Aremot the nice descent ended in a short steep drop. It was easy to see where to go as I took my skis off and walked down. In poor visibility this would have been a nervous dither, had I even found the spot to descend.

I was doing well as I only had 8 km to go and it was just 1230. This rapid progress was mostly due to the being able to ski and push on rather than gingerly fumble around in the white. Having said that it was beginning to cloud over quite rapidly.

The last 8 km took 3 hours as although I was following the river bed, I had to keep to the side as it occasionally went into a gorge. It was still quite easy though despite being knolly. What I did notice was how the snow was much icier here and how relatively little of it there was. It was almost as if it had received none of the recent heavy showers over the last fortnight.

As I approached the cabins willow scrub and some birch appeared. Willow scrub loves wet places so I suspect this is a marshy area in the summer. The cabin itself was large. It looked a old seter or summer farm which was restored.

Inside huge lumber walls were protected by newer planks on the outside. These log wall fitted perfectly into each other without a gap anywhere. Great craftsmanship from a century ago. So well do these log cabins fit together it is possible to number the logs, dissemble them, transport them and resemble them somewhere else. In fact it is often done.

It was great to be able to do all the cabin chores, like get wood and light the stove and collect pails of snow to melt with a couple of hours daylight remaining. It had clouded over completely now and some of the tops around the cabin were in the mist. I though had a whole evening in front on the fire to relax and read. I looked forward to it as it will round of an excellent day.

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