It has snowed the whole week and yesterday I finally took the opportunity to do a ski tour in the mountains. Since I’m not a downhill skier I chose the Fløyfjellet area on the mainland. There it is hilly, but not steep and you can take the cable car Fjellheisen to Storsteinen (421 m). The four-minute ride is expensive but worth it.
I’ve been there several times but never with skis.
I put on the skins and go outside. What are these funny snowed in thingies? The left one could be a slide. I remember the playground here. And behind that? Is it not a fence but a swing!? So much snow?
Note: Yes, it’s a slide and a swing. I found an older photo of mid-October 2020 for comparison.
I start my tour at Fjellstua, the mountain station of the cable car. It has stopped snowing and the sun comes out. I pass Steinbøhytta. It looks quite snowed in, but this cabin is built into the mountain.
Navigation to Fløya is easy when it’s clear because of the huge waymark with the wind vane. The summit itself is marked with the typical stone heap.
It’s just 12 o’clock when I reach Fløya and I continue skiing south. I am completely alone and beside of snow and some small, isolated rocks there is not much to see.
It starts snowing and gradually the snow fall intensifies until the visibility is between 50 and 100 metres. Not much in a snowy landscape. I see a small single rock, but nothing more.
Where is Bønntuva (or Romssavákkivárri), the next summit? I use compass and the Varsom app for navigation but I zigzag a bit anyhow. I realise that I go uphills. A good sign, when you want on a mountain. I’m almost at the top when I see the waymark. It’s a large but shallow pile of stones, almost completely snowed in. Time for a “summit selfie” and a break.
And then – all of the sudden – the clouds disappear and the sun comes out and instead of 50 m visibility it’s 15 kilometres and more.
After a short break I ski further south. Here I meet the first other people, two touring skiers. I enjoy the sun, the calmness, the view, the colours while skiing a long circle back.
And soon the next snow appears. As fast as the sky cleared up visibility is very poor again and I have some difficulties navigating again.
I head west and then north again. The snow depth is 50-60 cm in average and my skis sink 15–20 cm into the snow with every step. Visibility has become much better again but everything looks dull in the grey, snowy weather. I’m exhausted. Time to take a break.
Still an hour to go, but at least it goes mostly downhills. Step. Step. Step. Looking up. Step. Step. Step.
Not far from the station I meet three women. They sit on huge camping mats in the snow and are cooking something. Their skis stuck in the snow and serve as a backrest. This looks cosy! We exchange a few words, then I continue. When I arrive at the mountain station I take a souvenir photo of Tromsøya. Ten minutes later I stand in the cable car on my way down. Five minutes later I stand by my car and stop the parking because this is expensive as well.
In the center of Tromsø it is thaw and a mixture of wet snow, soft ice and brown slush covers ways and roads. I’m glad that I had this wonderful day in the mountains though photo motives were a bit rare due to the poor visibility. Now I think it would be a good time for spring!