What do you need to go skiing? (A) snow? Or (B) a shopping cart?
This week started warm, rainy and very windy. On the Norwegian sea a full storm was raging. Boat traffic was cancelled, bridges and schools closed. Here’s a Norwegian article: Uværet stopper fergetrafikk og skoler stengt – NRK Nordland.
Tromsø however is quite protected by the surrounding mountains. I saw this shopping card was thrown on the empty parking lot, nothing more. The ice was probably more dangerous but I have good spikes for my boots.
Two days ago the temperatures had dropped and snow was falling gently when I went to work. Yesterday it was still snowing, but less gently as you can see on the second image.
Since then round 30 cm of snow had fallen. I packed ski and other stuff into my car and drove to a parking place on the mainland. It took a while to go there. First it’s 40 km and then there were some heavy snow showers. Sometimes it was hard to follow the road and I almost went through a red traffic light because it was snowed in.
Then I reached the parking place. Is it cleared? Well, I don’t know, I only see white. Let’s try …
I tried to back but it was obvious, that the car got stuck in a snow drift. The problem was not only the packed snow under the car, but also a layer of ice under the snow. The tyres just were spinning. So I had to dig out my car and decided to do it before skiing. 15 minutes warm-up with my snow spade, then the car was free.
There was another car, otherwise I was alone. I dressed for the tour and started. Plan for today: the cabin Trollvassbo, just 4 km away. It started snowing and wind increased. Mountains and other features were invisible. The snow was loose and my skis sank 15 cm with each step. But I was lucky. The pale spot in the distance turned out to be three women, that had stayed overnight in Trollvassbu. Following their ski track was of course not much less exhausting and I hadn’t to care much about navigation. Nice!
After two kilometres the track was lost in nothing. Snow and wind had filled the track. Sometimes it cleared up a bit and I could see the mountains, sometimes a new snow shower approached.
But then, after 3½ km I spotted it – the cabin. Somewhere behind the drifting snow.
Another 800 metres and I arrived. The cabins of the Norwegian tourist association DNT are locked, but luckily all with the same key – which I had with me today. So I could take a rest inside.
Oh, lovely! The cabin was cosy and still warm. I took a frugal lunch – water and crisp bread. I regretted, that I didn’t took some real lunch with me, here where I could use the gas stove. Anyhow I stayed there for almost an hour.
I took a photo of the snow drift behind the cabin and then started my way back to the car. Just while I took out the camera to take a picture of a mountain a snow cloud approached. Half a minute later the mountains was gone. Another half a minute later I skied through a heavy snow shower.
I put off my backpack to firmly tie up my snow spade and continued. Anyhow this was last stormy shower. Then it cleared up a bit and I could see the mountains again. I was more easterly than on the way there. Here the terrain was more sheltered from the wind. This means less wind but also deeper snow. Since there was no track left I skied through 20 cm of loose snow. So although I skied down a bit I was hardly any faster than on the way there. But that doesn’t matter, it’s not a competition.
The whole ski tour took less than 3½ hours including the break. Plus 15 minutes of shovelling. Plus 1½ hours of car driving. It’s near to impossible to reach all these great places round Tromsø by public transport, especially on weekends.
Warmly recommended if you have a car and want to have an easy tour without steep slopes. Perhaps you’ll get more friendly weather.