From the shadow into the sun

It has snowed quite a bit in Tromsø the last days and the snow depth measured this morning was 50 cm. The weather was fair and so there was no reason for me not to start the back country skiing season today.

I take the car to the parking at the Finnvikdalen on the island Kvaløya, where I started some other day trip ski tours the last years. I arrive at nine o’clock and am first. I change boots and jackets, put on gloves, mount the skis and off I go. The snow is fresh and fluffy and I guess that I won’t see my skis today a lot when I don’t follow another track.

First my skis sink 10–20 cm into the snow, later it will be more like 20–40. When I approach an old ski track covered in snow I decide to follow it. Where it will bring me? I’ll see.

At the beginning the track winds through the sparse birch forests. Everything looks quite grey and dull in the dim twilight.

When I however look back I see the first colour in the sky: A thin red cloud.

Twenty minutes later the southeastern sky is filled with the colours of sunrise. Which is no surprise, because it is actually sunrise. Somewhere far away behind the mountains of the mainland.

I continue following the old track. Looks like someone dragged a pulka behind. On one of the hills I spot a cabin. It is Stillvannsbua, a hut open for everyone and a popular tour destination.

The track passes the cabin and so do I.  Shortly after I meet a guy with a pulka. Probably he tented somewhere around. Was it him making this track? Probably, because soon it ends and I continue on areas of loose, untouched snow. Exhausting but beautiful.

On a lot of places the snow under my skis reacts with a loud, muffled noise and the snow sinks down a centimetre or two. The noise spreads in all directions for one or two seconds, a clear sign that the snow is quite unstable. But I’m in the midst of a valley– no avalanche risk here. When I reach the end of a valley I do not dare to proceed to steeper terrain but turn back. I am exhausted anyhow.

On my way back I still cannot see the sun. It is too low to be visible from here. The sky however is even more colourful and then it even starts to snow a bit. Snow and sun – one of my favourite weathers.

Some higher mountains are already sunlit …

And then there it is – the sun! It just appeared from behind a mountain.

All of a sudden the snow is not a featureless white but you can see every feature of the surface. The snowy land has got its colours back.

Everything that is lit by the low sun now shines in the most beautiful warm colours and I enjoy every moment of it. It is only nine other days, then the sun won’t rise again in Tromsø before 16 January. Polar night.

Now I’m not alone any more. A lot of skiers come towards me, many of them with a dog that pulls the skier. Three hours after I have started the tour I arrive at the parking again. The tour was short – just 7½ km – but the main thing was achieved: having been out in the wonderful nature that surrounds Tromsø.

10 comments to “From the shadow into the sun”

  1. Annika 2023-11-19 21:07

    Ist das steil? Kann ich das???

  2. way-up-north 2023-11-19 21:08

    Die Frage ist – kann ich das ;-).

    Das ist nicht sonderlich steil (finde ich) und geht gut (finde ich), wenn der Schnee fluffig ist.

  3. Annika 2023-11-19 21:25

    Ich frage, weil ich auch skilaufen will, wenn ich bei Dir bin.

  4. way-up-north 2023-11-19 21:26

    Auf jeden Fall. Wo und so schauen wir dann. Ein bisschen rauf und runter geht es ja überall.

  5. delle 2023-11-20 17:18

    Seit froh das ich nicht mitkomme

  6. delle 2023-11-20 17:19

    Aber dabei wäre ich schon gerne

  7. Sönke Schneider 2023-11-27 12:38

    Wunderschöne Bilder! Strahlen eine enorme Ruhe aus, bei längeren Hinsehen wird einem jedoch ein bisserl frisch ;-)

  8. way-up-north 2023-11-27 20:45

    Danke, Sönke.

    Besonders kalt war es an dem Tag nicht. Gerade jetzt zeigt das Thermometer -8.4 °C an, das Kälteste hier bis jetzt.

  9. Ulrich 2023-12-12 18:40

    Kaum bin ich wieder da, gibt es mehrere neue Artikel. Da muss ich kommentieren.

    Wunderschön und so ruhig. Wenn du nicht gesagt hättest, dass dort ein Mensch zeltet und andere Menschen dir entgegenkommen, könnte man meinen, du wärst der einzige Mensch gewesen.

  10. way-up-north 2023-12-15 07:46

    Ulrich: Oft bin ich anfangs der einzige Mensch, weil ich Touren oft recht früh beginne. Doch dann nicht mehr, denn viele Norweger sind sehr gerne und viel draußen.

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