Sunday 8 July 2018

Walking in Norway

I'd picked Kate up from Trondheim airport and, after an excruciatingly cold morning wandering round the city itself, we headed for the Trollheimen mountains. It poured with rain for the journey, and snow was falling on the hills. An entertaining drive up a dirt road took us to our first hut, Gjevilvasshytta.
Our original plan was for a triangular route taking in two other huts, with an extra night back at Gjevilvasshytta on the return. The warden helpfully told us, however, that we could change our bookings to spend two nights at a different hut if we wanted. Since they are all run by the DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association), there was no additional cost to this. Catered huts are effectively remote hotels, though with bunk beds and sometimes outside toilets. The buildings are full of character- ancient wood and turf roofs.

Our route turned out to be a Norwegian "classic". The first day to the Joldalshytta took us up through birch woods and across high ground. There was a brisk wind and fresh snow on the ground.

We passed a reindeer herding camp, with the woodburning stove left for use next time round.

A few reindeer were still around.

Bridges, where they exist, pose a special problem. We tended to shuffle across them, rather than walk, so that we didn't tripp-trapp. We didn't want to attract unwelcome attention from below.

Our second day gave us a fine ascent of the Geithetta, en route to the picturesque Trollsheimhytta.

From here, with a weather forecast which promised more than it delivered, we climbed Snota, one of the favourite peaks of the area. There is a well waymarked trail, but thick mist and lying snow made it hard to follow at times. Our summit view lasted about five seconds.

Finally, on the only warm and sunny day I encountered in Norway, we returned to Gjevilvasshytta. Our Norwegian hut experience was wonderful, with good accommodation, food which was either delicious or interesting (possibly not both at the same time), and friendly staff and walkers.

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