Starting the final leg in Northern Norway!

Hi all!

Well, it´s been a very very long time since I last posted something on my blog. Finding computers is not that easy here and honestly, I don’t wan’t to use a lot of time with all this crazy scenery around 😉 But today the weather is bad with a lot of wind, and I need some calm weather to raft across the vast Tornetrask lake… waiting it is and so here I am! And I brought pictures!

A hell lot of kilometers have been walked and rafted since my last post in early july and it feels impossible to write a good synthesis in just one short post. But let’s give it a try anyway.

After a relatively fine june, the weather detoriated and mid-july was cold and wet. We did not see any mountaintops while crossing Dovrefjell… but we did see about 10 massive muskoxen from about 100m distance (closer would be tricky). What a beasts! Dovrefjell marked the end of the first leg of my journey through the mountains of Southern Norway. Knutsho, the first range of the central part, was surprisingly nice with splendid postglacial geomorphology and rounded mountains covered by reindeer moss. While the bad weather mostly continued, we crossed into Forollhogna, known for its wild reindeer herds (though we saw only 2 reindeer).

Elien went home and I was solo again. Skarvan og Roltdalen marked the beginning of what central Norway really was: a world of endless peat bogs and mosquitos. I made long days to get back on schedule. Luckily the weather started to improve and the first 3 weeks of august brought many long, warm and sunny days. I picked up my packraft in Snasa, paddled across some of Norways largest lakes and crossed into the real mountains again when reaching Borgefjell around the 8th of august. The two very best weeks of the entire trip were about to begin.

Borgefjell was wilder and more rugged than I had expected. I climed Kvigtiden (1699m), the highest summit of the chain, on a splendid morning. The Susna river offered some nice packrafting, and I paddled 45km across Norway’s second largest lake, Rossvatnet, towards the mighty Okstinden range. Summer was at its climax and I went for a summit bivouac on Okskolten, Northern Norways highest mountain. The views were breathtaking, the sunset astounding, what a day.

Fre joined me while crossing into Saltfjellet. The nice weather continued for a few more days, but autumn started its first main assault when we reached Sulitjelma. Two grey and ofted rainy weeks followed, with snow down to 1000m in Sarek. Apart from one nice day in Padjelanta, a fine morning in Sarvesvagge and a sunny day on the Kungsleden near Teusojaure, the peaks remained in the clouds and we spent many long hours in the tent waiting for the rain to stop. But some parts, notably the Rapadalen in Sarek, were among the wildest scenery I´ve seen in my life, and it is clear I will re-visit this sector in the future.

We are now in Abisko, a trail town at the northern end of the Kungsleden. Fre is travelling home tonight and as soon as the weather improves, I’ll continue solo into Ovre Dividalen, the last of the 18 national parks I crossed during my journey, and the last mountain range I will cross. After that I´ll be heading east into the Finnmarksvidda, where I´ll packraft long days on the Lesjohka, Karasjohka and Tana rivers to approach the Nordkinn. I’ve got a bit less than 4 weeks left to cover the final 800km, so I´ll have to speed up a bit to get there in time! I hope the winds and discharge will help me a bit 😉 But spirits to make it are high, and I already have the feeling my trip was a tremendeous succes and every extra kilometer is bonus. Let’s give it a go!

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4 thoughts on “Starting the final leg in Northern Norway!

  1. Hanna says:

    Speed up on the right places:-)
    Love to read your book sometime? Fantastic journey, great pictures.

    Enjoy, have fun and stay safe.

    Greetings from Hanna

  2. Hendrik says:

    A mighty fine update, mate! Looking forward to read in detail all about it some day – till then, enjoy “Ruska” – the autumn in Lappland, as we call it in Finnish!

  3. David Hine (@GridNorth) says:

    This has been a amazing trip! I reckon the last leg on the Finnmark plateau will be, too. Should be relatively clear of mosquitoes by now? Keep a firm grip on your headnet just in case. Fascinated by the look of the Tana on maps but heard it has many hydro schemes along its course?

    I hope there will be more detail (particularly on the packrafting bits) in future. Good luck for the remainder of your journey!

  4. Eric (Utrecht) says:

    I know what wind you are talking about! I was holed up in my tent that day and night in Sarvesvágge 🙂 You seem to have passed through it the week before…. Great landscapes, great trip! Where did you see the bears? I saw clawmarks on trees in Sarek, but nothing of the real stuff….

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