The conditions, one week before leaving

After a snow-rich winter and a rather cool april and first half of may, a lot of snow still persists in the mountains of Southern Norway. Conditions are particularly snowy on the mountain plateaus of Setesdelsheiane and Hardangervidda, which I will already cross during the first three weeks of my journey. The higher parts still see more than 4 meters of snow, some parts of Setesdalsheiane experience their most extreme conditions since 1971! The maps below, on which I quickly sketched my route for the month of june, give a good idea of the current situation.

Although very warm weather is now forecast for the coming week (some main rivers in Southern Norway currently have their highest discharge in a decade because of the resulting massive meltwater pulse), there is no doubt I will walk on snow a lot in june. Orientation could prove to be hard during bad weather spells, crossings of meltwater-swollen rivers, especially in the southern Hardangervidda, will be a pain as the summerbridges are not up yet (although firm snow bridges may hold until late june), and overall progress will be slowed down. I won’t take crampons, but purchased the 143g Yaktrax Pro for more traction and comfort on snow and ice. I will use my more reliable regular compass for the first few weeks and only swap it with a clip-on micro-compass in early july.

Today’s webcam picture from Finse, showing a south-facing slope at 1200m asl, shows what it is still all about… and Finse is one of the few places with below-average snow cover🙂

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