This evening Annika and I will take the night train to Göteborg. We will meet close friends and spend the Easter week in Southern Sweden where we probably will meet spring. So it’s probably time for me to say farewell to winter.
I was honoured. Winter dropped by personally to say farewell today. The gifts: Strong winds and at least twenty centimetres of snow. First I worked a bit but then Annika and I took a winter promenade to our Vitskärsudden, our favourite beach.
Some hours later I dug out the car. We’ll need it later. It had already become warmer and the snow was wet and heavy. So winter didn’t come to stay but I was glad about its farewell.
After a springlike Easter week in southern Sweden I travelled back to my “work town” Tromsø on Easter Monday. Yesterday I was outdoors in the fjell. –the first time since the end of January.
What kind of tour will I go for? Is it skis or rubber boots? Let’s pack both, take the car to the parking place by the road 863 on the island Kvaløya and have a look.
OK. Let’s take boots! I lock the car and start crossing the bogs. Some parts are still frozen, others bounce like a wet sponge when being crossed. The terrain rises and soon my boots trudge through snow. Snow is still deep but so compact that I hardly sink more than 5–20 cm.
I slowly ascent the mountain landscape and leave the trees behind. Soon I reach the top of the hill Skavlikollen.
I continue north. I put off my jacket because I am sweating in the warm sun. I realise that I forgot a sun blocker and take my buff for protection. (It worked – no sunburn the next day!) While the higher mountains are still covered with snow I walk also on rocks and heather. The hilly and mountainous landscape looks beautiful in the sunny weather.
After round about 6 km I reach the top of Sørtinden (471 m). I’ve been there twice (1), (2), but only in autumn.
Here I take a rest and enjoy the view of mountains and fjords. I start to freeze and I’m glad about my down hoodie that fits into the camera backpack. The sun provides warmth but the air temperature is hardly above zero.
I choose another way back but get a bit “photo-lazy”. For the birch at the slope however I’ll take my camera out of the backpack.
Partly it is easy to walk down the snowy hills because you can glide, but parts of the snow has softened by the sun and more than once I break into knee deep snow. After 11.5 km of walking and snow trudging I arrive at the car. From there it’s only 20 minutes by car home.
That’s a good start for #onceaweek– my plan to make a new tour every week. Let’s see what I’ll do next weekend. When I look at next week’s weather forecast it might be a ski tour.
Today was the first torsdagspadling (Thursday paddling) of the Tromsø havpadleklubb, one of the two large kayak associations in Tromsø. Now we have enough light in the evening that you can take tours after work and it’s not so cold anymore. Well, kind of …
While it is not my first kayak tour this year – I paddled for example four weeks ago in Sweden– it is my first one in Tromsø and most of all the first one with others. We were nine paddlers today, eight experienced kayakers and me, the beginner. Fortunately the tempo was low and wind and waves were not demanding. So I could follow without any problems.
First everything went wrong. I could not book a kayak in the internet. Then I could reserve it but not pay it. Then one zipper of my neoprene boots was jammed. Then I could not close my drysuit zipper. Then I lost a part of my waterproof iPhone bag. Then I could not find my woollen cap. And so on. And so on. But with a lot of help of my fellow paddlers I finally was on the water. And luckily someone remembered me to attach the spray deck. (In Sweden I hardly use it.)
Oh – so nice to paddle again!
It took perhaps 15 minutes until we were right in the first snow shower. Not unexpected, since it had been snowing in Tromsø for three days now and we have subzero temperatures and at least 20 cm of snow on the ground. It was so beautiful with the sun peeking through holes in the clouds while the snow was falling.
But between the showers the sun came out.
Until the next shower. Now we were quite near the bay Telegrafbukta which is in the direct neighbourhood of my apartment. There I had taken a winter bath yesterday (water: 3.5 °C), now we approached it by kayak. We slowed down a bit – time for discussing paddle technique or to go ashore and re-adjust the footrests.
We did not go on land because the weather was not too inviting. So we paddled back against the sun and through a new snow shower. This time the wind increased a bit and we got even some waves on our way back.
Round two hours and eight or nine kilometres later we arrived at the club houses of the Tromsø havpadleklubb. Time to dry the kayaks, put them back and change to more civil clothes.
Takk for turen – thanks for the tour – I’ll be there next Thursday!
On Monday evening, the 25 April it started to snow.
Tuesday, 26 April 2022
On Tuesday it was snowing and temperatures were below zero.
Still some flowers peeked through the snow.
Wednesday, 27 April 2022
On Wednesday it was snowing and temperatures were below zero.
Some heavy snow squalls covered everything with snow.
In the evening I took a winter bath at the beach of Telegrafbukta and then took a photo of the snow figure by the stairs.
Thursday, 28 April 2022
Yesterday on Thursday it was snowing and temperatures were below zero.
It was fun to kayak through the snow after work.
Friday, 29 April 2022
Today on Friday it has been snowing and temperatures have been (mostly) below zero.
The snowflakes have become thicker.
This afternoon snow depth was 25–30 cm. The snow figure was snowed in to the neck and the stairs have disappeared in the snow.
Thursday, 19 Mai 2022 …
In 20 days there will be the first polar day. Then the sun does not set for more than seven weeks. Midnight sun!
Summer is near but incredibly well hidden.