Continuation of report to allow additional photos to be posted.
We arrived at Finse with time to enjoy a beer before supper and met up with th ethree young Norwegians who to our surprise only got there about two hours earlier. The hut was extremely busy with over fifty school students visiting but the staff were obviously very used to handling busy times and everyone was able to get their food without waiting long.
The next morning did look fine and we had decided to ski up the marked trail to the Ice Cap summit. We had skied the same route seven years previously in excellent conditions so it wasn't a big deal if conditions turned for the worse. We headed south to Applesinhytta which provides an emergency shelter and store for mountain rescue. We stopped for a drink and biscuit and soon the fifty students had also arrived on their way to the summit. We let them head on ahead of us as they were younger and fitter. Peter decide to spend time exploring the area near Applesinhytta while Roy and myself went on to Jokulhytta. The route follows a marked trail due to the danger of Crevasses and we kept to the marked route especially as visibility was deteriorating with snow. I was finding it quite hard going and certainly looking forward to lunch in the summit hut. We met the students returning as we approached the hut, many walking due to the rough sastrugi and their use of narrow racing track skis!
The summit hut is also an emergency shelter and has a wood stove with bags of logs stored beneath the hut benches. It provides a safe refuge if conditions become very severe it is possible to shelter a large group in an emergency.
The weather was really starting to turn with wind rising and snow falling so we headed back down rather than make the final trek to the summit cairn. It was on the way down that the very challenging conditions resulted in us falling over rather often. I even removed my skis for a short section although Roy managed fine with his wide downhill planks. Unknown to me my camera parted company from my rucksack during one of these falls. This was only discovered on our return to Finse hut and relaxing with a beer in the lounge. Roy volunteered to ski back part the way after supper as far as Applesinhytta in case it had dropped while skiing that section. He returned just as light was fading about 21:45 without success. I always photograph my address and contact details and lock the image so I was hopeful that it would be found by someone during the summer unless it dissapeered in a crevasse! To my great surprise and relief I received a phone call from Norway about a week later and was re united with my camera thanks to the sharp eyes and honesty of a very helpful Norwegian named Mads, without which all the photos shown would be missing.
The next day we headed 20km west to Hallingskeid and the awaiting wine! Conditions were miserable, misty, wind against us and very wet snow conditions. Despite this we made very good progress as the Klister was working well and half the route was downhill. We arrived in good time to enjoy a relaxed evening and were sharing the hut with a small group of 6 young Norwegians. We were even able to stay in the same room as previously.
Next morning was misty again so there was no incentive to go for a short tour before catching the train in the afternoon back to Bergen. The hut gets used by school parties from Bergen fairly regularly and obviously while we had been touring a group had stayed because there was a booby trap of snowholes outside the hut along with a melting igloo and snow woman! I decided to build another 8ft Igloo as a demonstration for any more visitors to the hut. The wet coarse snow made building quick after some time was spent getting a level platform. I built the first layer on my own before Roy helped out with the remaining layers. The final layer I had to complete alone because Roy was asked to help clear snow from the hut roof and rear windows allowing emergency exit from the hut.
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- Igloo Ed
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- Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:44 pm
- Location: Lyons, Colorado
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