Day 60. Innstua to Sveet

Posted by: James on March 1, 2009

Distance 19km | Time 6hrs | Ascent 330m | Descent 370m

Day 60. Difficult conditions in the pine forest near InnstuaI did not know what type of problems the day would throw up so decided to leave early. Breakfast was a tin of stew and bowl of rice. Then there was the cabin to tidy up and I was ready to leave about 0800.

It was a bit windy with the odd snow flake in the overcast air. I initially skiied up the small road for 4 km until I got to Briedvatnet lake. Just before the lake was a cleared parking area and a sign pointing north saying Veressjoen. It looked like the trail I needed to find through the woods.

There had been a lot of skiers this way recently and even with the new snows of late there was a beaten trail through the tall sharp spruce. I followed it for a km to a treeless clearing when the trail vanished under new drifted snow. Luckily I found some marker stakes and followed them until they re-entered the forest and the trail reappeared as the snow had not drifted here.

This alternation between a reasonable trail through the trees, to a stretch of deep snow continued for a good few km until the trail began to climb out of the forest. Here the trail all but disappeared but the markers continued. I followed them through snow which was shin deep.

It was slow going as my skis were constantly on an upward slope and every step I had to press down some 25 cm of snow. However the threat of bad weather had now receded and there was a bit of blue sky at last. In addition the forest of pines I was now in was extremely beautiful.

Day 60.The cross border Skjaekerfjella mountains in the sunny distanceI slowly climbed out of the trees entirely onto a very broad ridge with a couple of lakes gouged into it. From here I got a marvellous view north across forests to large rounded mountains in the distance. These mountains stretched across the northern horizon and must have been about 1250 metres high. They were the Skjaekerfjella mountains and extended across the border with Sweden, where there were a National Park. With high the rounded mountains and extensive pine forests one could be forgiven for comparing it to the more rugged parts of the Scottish Highlands.

The snow was much firmer above the treeline as the wind would have broken up and packed the snow flakes, so sometimes I was not sinking in at all. I could enjoy this section without having to wade through deep snow. I opted to keep my skins on however and this slowed me up considerably.

Soon I was back in the undulating forest and I had to work hard again to move forward. I continued to follow the stakes which marked the summer track in the hope I would find some ski tracks which were also following it. There were none however.

Day 60.Veressjoen lake is surrounded by pine and spruce forestThe trail rose over a crest and I got my first glimpse of Veressjoen lake some 4 km to the north. From here the stakes descended through the magnificent pine trees, many with spiralled trunks which comes with age. Just as the final descent to the lake began I came across some very fresh snow scooter tracks. The dident follow the stakes but descended to the lake anyway. I followed them

At the lake I left the scooter tracks and headed across to the farms at Sveet just a km away now, but slow in the deep snow on the lake. At Sveet farm I met Gudrun Olsen who ran a small campsite in the summer but was now trying to hand it over to her son or a buyer so she could enjoy her retirement

She had received my rucksack and had put it in the small simple cabin which she had pre-warmed for me. She knew I was coming as Ovind had spoken to her 3 days previously about receiving the rucksack and she had offered the cabin at that time.

I eagerly reached the warm cabin and unwrapped the rucksack. It was as expected. I transferred most of my belongings from old to new rucksack and was delighted with the capacity and weight. I was now down from 20kg to about 17kg. It doesn’t sound much but the difference was huge in reality. I am pretty fit now so with the light load I should be a flying machine gobbling up the kilometres.

I returned to Gudruns with the old rucksack to return. She invited me in for coffee and cake. She takes a fair bit of interest in the Norge Paa Lang skiers, and in the summer walkers, as the all have to pass through the bottleneck of Vera. Over the years she has enjoyed hosting people and chatting with them. She was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and likeable and hopefully someone will take over her small business as it would be a loss to long distance travellers if it closed down completely.

Apparently there were only some 20 people living in the area around the lake now. This surprised me I thought with the good farming it would be more. The area was very beautiful indeed and I am sure it would be popular in the summer.

Most of the farms had cows only as the surrounding hills were reindeer grazing areas for domesticated herds. There were no sheep consequently. This was probably just as well as lynx were common and wolverine were present in the area.

I ate some dried food I had been carrying since Lindesnes to reduce the weight further. I still had about 4 days dried food in the rucksack, none of it pleasant. Tomorrow I will test my rucksack and fitness as I hope to make Gaundalen. This is some 40 km across trackless forest and mountainside.

Gaundalen is a very remote farm. It is more like a homestead with no road within tens of kilometres. Apparently it is run by a elderly mother of nearly 90 and her nearly 70 year old son. They have cabins to rent and eggs for sale. I am keen to see it and hope I manage the distance.

It had been a good day. The weather was kind, the scenery fantastic and despite the difficult conditions I had done nearly 20 km. I am also delighted to get my new rucksack and with the new weight I have to carry. I look forward to a warm evening in this small cabin which Gudrun kindly made available.

3 Responses to “Day 60. Innstua to Sveet”

  1. Hans from Stavanger Says:

    Hi, So you have enterded Sweden. Then probably “köttbullar” is the right food. What out for swedish girls.
    Spring winds today here in Stavanger and a blip of the sun. Good done of you and hope the best futher north

  2. David Stronge Says:

    Haven’t read the posts for a while so am amazed at the great progress James. Well done and keep it up!


  3. Bjørn Ivar, Vingelen Says:

    Greetings from Vingelen, which you passed some days ago. Impressed by your progress!
    Keep going like that!

    Bjørn Ivar Ryen, Vingelsgaard