My first “topptur“

Just 14 km by car to the parking place on Kvaløya and I’m at the southern end of the two valleys Finnvikdalen and Krabbelvdalen. I put on the skis, put on the backpack, up with the hood and I’m ready to ski. -14 °C, hardly any wind.

First I follow an old track, perhaps two skiers and two with snowshoes went there. But soon I leave it to follow the Krabbelvdalen. Further plans: none yet.

Slowly the terrain rises. I do not have climbing skins with me but mostly I can ski just straight ahead. I’m alone and leave a track in yesterday’s freshly fallen snow.

I spot a cabin by a mountain slope and realise that the mountains may be not as steep as they looked first. Could it be possible for me to ski over the saddle between the two summits of the Mellaskarfjellet (301 m and 325 m) to make a round trip? Well, at least I can try. To gain height I have to go zigzag a lot and some of the snow is hard and icy. I’m a lousy skier and wonder if I ever will be able to ski downhills and leave this place. Well, I reach the saddle and it’s only 40 more metres in altitude to the southern top. Let’s go and make the round trip a topptur – a summit tour.

To make a long zig-zag story short: I reach it! I put on my down jacket and take a rest with a bit of chocolate and half frozen water.

The descent to the Finnvikdalen takes some time. I do not dare to ski straight downhills because parts of the snow are icy and other parts is crusted powder snow where you break though. So I take it slow and easy.

I see two other skiers with a dog approaching. While I slowly ski downhills they catch up and thank me for the track I made while passing.

Two reindeer nibble at the birch trees, I’ll never will understand how they can survive cold winters with this nutrition. The dog is quite interested. “Will is run? Is it fun?”. But alas it is on a leash and the reindeer calmly trots through the snow to find another birch to nibble at.

Now it is me who is the lucky one. The dog owners leave a fresh ski track on which I at least double my tempo. They head to something that looks like a broader ski track and so it it. It leads to a mountain hut.

Tracking map from my iPhone appA lot of skiers are on this trail. After I have passed the hut I’m on a broad trail prepared by a snow mobile. Now I can ski even faster (still slow ;-) ) but I’m unsure where this trail leads me. I continue following it constantly checking my map app until it signals that I’m on my old track again. What? Where? Here? I do not recognise this place!

Some hours ago I was alone, now a broad track cuts through the landscape. I pass the very same tree that I photographed this morning.  Ok, the app is right. The parking place comes into sight, it is full of cars. Just a bit more to go and I arrive at my car. While I stop my tracking app and change my clothes other people pass me on both sides.

I guess many Norwegians would just laugh about me calling my today’s tour a topptur, since the summit is a hill, not a serious mountain. Many Norwegians are excellent skiers and topptur is used for alpine style tour skiing often in steep terrain, not necessarily for cross-country skiing . Anyhow I liked this tour and give it the name I think it deserves from my perspective.

On the map you can both see my zigzagging near the summit and that I was significantly faster on the trail back ( slow | fast).

To my big surprise it has become colder. -16 °C the car thermometer shows now. At home it is only -7 °C. I wonder why because both places are located quite near the sea.

2022-01-29 18:41

Write a comment: