Bergen sure is a pretty city from up here...
The view was magnificant
The answer can't be found in the bottom of a bottle... unless that bottle is made of strawberry flavoured jelly and foam
'Exteme weather event Berit' had been battering the west coast of Norway for a few days
The 'indicator waterfall' above my house told me it would be wet underfoot up on the hills
It was cosy inside...
Up through the forests and out of the wind
Up on the summit and into the teeth of 'Berit'
First day on skis, Winter 2011/2012. Mjøfjell still resisting the total grip of winter, the streams are still open and the trails try and find a way around.
Lunch spot at what looks like could be a nice place to visit in the summer with the packraft.
Heading back to the train
Odd suiting up with goodies from his Goruck 1 for a snowy circuit of Vidden
Rime plastered firs
First break, pulling out near 'The Gauntlet', which, I was told, was in a very good mood that day.
Not a lot lives on the small, weather battered, rocky islands dotting Norway's west coast. I wouldn't want to rely on this vegetation to make and fire and shelter...
Rock pool with the North Sea as a backdrop.
Contemplating the slightly more lumpy water outside the shelter of the islands. Make no mistake, the weather was as calm as the this part of the world gets but the swell of the open sea combined with wave refraction soon had me out of my depth
The volcanic rock striations fold and swirl continuously under your feet.
Mark returning to the kayaks before we headed out into the sea to 'practice' capsizing and rescue techniques...
Hot and sweaty work on the way up to Fossdal.
The groomed trails running over the top with Byrkefjellet and his posse glaring from across the valley
Bright sunlight brands my shadow into the snow. Skiing conditions were not ideal. The wind-packed snow was rock hard and icy with just a few millimetre thick dusting of loose snow on top affording minimal grip.
These reflected self-portraits are becoming my signature. This might even be the second time I've used this particular Thermos to this effect.
The hills above Furedalen Alpin resort
In the resort the snow was wet and slushy. On the hills it transformed into chopped ice dusted with sugar snow. Worst. Snow. Ever.
Moi. And my FT3.
15 fathoms, counting. First strokes in the Alpacka Denali Llama.
It was one of those days. Persistant, unending, continuous drizzly rain.
Houston, we have ignition. Light up the afterburners and get the tea on.
Rain, fog, drizzle, mist
My figurehead was a 65L Sea-to-Summit Big River dry bag
Rain and paddle splash on the skirt
The water may have been calm but the deck still had a job to do, keeping me warm and dry in the chilling rain.
The captain's name was Lugger
By Christ he was a bugger
He wasn't fit to shovel shit
From one ship to another
Great idea for paddling. Neoprene and velcro cuff. Stops cold water running down your sleeve. Brrr.
The good ship Venus. Or Gwendolyn.
"Troll!" (those who have seen the movie should know how this is pronounced)
I'll take the offspring of the boat on the left with the boat on the right...
Gulfjellet stands guard at the end of the valley
The view from behind the bow pack
Saturday night camp.
Paddle for the shelter support and flipping the Llama for a comfy bed.
Boils water faster than, well... a jet.
Cake and coffee for brekkie
Does exactly what it says on the tin.
Clamcleats 'Y' peg. My favourite (MSR Groundhog is identical if you prefer your stakes anodised red)
Here lichen. There DuoMid.
Organised chaos in the morning
Early morning bushwhackery.
Ducking and diving. With only a few kilometres between lakes I chose to strap the packraft to my pack without removing the cockpit.
21st century bed-roll.
Nice view down there too.
The last thing this year's trout will see.
She lies on her port side, fathoms deep.
I left my paddle somewhere. Back along the portage, I wished for brightly coloured blades.
Chicken-shit is the better part of valour.
Robinson Crusoe lunch break
We were both carrying our shelter on our backs.
Cold but sunny on Gåssandvatnet. Light rays played on the rock while foxes and 'keep out' signs festooned the bank.
Wrapped up. Merino, Boreas, fleece hoody and Ozo topped off with a spray skirt and PFD.
Babbling brook, dusting of snow, filtered sunshine, mossy carpet underfoot. Best. Trail. Ever.
Spring is here! No, wait, no, there's snow. Now Spring is here! No, wait. Oh, for fucks sake, there is snow again!
The dream trail through Øvereidsdalen.
No doubt about it, no one else can live in this tiny house in the middle of the woods but an axe murderer.
Dream trail couldn't last forever. Time for the bushwhackery.
Whacking the bush brought me out here. On this precipitous outcrop of rock I had to inflate my packraft and paddle off to the far side of Krokvatnet.
And you shall know us by the trail of our bubbles...
I was going to do the ol' throw-the-paddle-over-the-obstacle-and-catch-it trick here but didn't want to tempt fate and have to paddle home by hand...
Steindalsselva. This is how my balls felt.
Out of the sun the world was still locked in ice
What's going to pop out of these then? Tiny green face-hugger aliens?!
Dam cold. Sitting on the dam end in the shade, with a cheeky little breeze that tore at my clothing layers more than this scene lets on. Steindalvatnet.
Dry another day?
Checking the map for tomorrow's proposed sea trials along Samnagerfjorden. I blew my boat up at the little triangle on the left of my grubby fingernail and aborted with mild panic at the triangle on the right of my fingernail...
Pine fresh. Nature doesn't need air freshener. It does, however, need a heater...
Yeah, it never really got above this. At least it was sunny. It could be raining, or snowing. Imagine if that happened...
I've had the wallpaper in the bedroom done.
Next years popsicle flavour. Moss.
After the Samnangerfjorden fiasco I ran back up into the hills. Lunch by the always delightful Sandelvi
Sandelvi burbling its way towards Samnangerfjorden
Sveningen's shapely rear end from Vestredalen
Proposed camp up at Litla Brekkevatnet was cancelled due to snow on the pitch
I instead chose to camp down in Brekkedalen, you know, because there was no snow down there...
Guess who decided to come and find me.
It didn't snow for too long. Instead it decided to rain.
Looks pretty? Its raining.
Looking across to the western mountains from Grønetua. Winter in retreat.
A warming fire on a cold evening
Evening hail shower. Time to retreat inside the SL3
Overnight snow, morning mist and the calm before the storm
Leaving Ulvvatnet and heading back
In less than two hours all this snow had disappeared leaving the hillsides green again. Chameleon.
Snow shower and sun beams, fighting for supremacy over the ridge
Fjellrev (Arctic Fox)
Morning chores. The kids were up and working in the barn by 07.30 every morning. Milking goats and grooming horses were just some of the chores they were expected to do.
Room inspections took on a life of their own. With points for cleanliness and artistic endeavor, even the tassels on the rug were carefully straightened by hand!
Taking 50+ goats and 24 kids from the park and up to the summer farm was a blast. I'm not sure who was leading who.
The weather was epic (as the kids say these days)
The wold enclosure was less than 20 metres from my bedroom. When they started howling late in the evening, a shudder crept up my spine. Magical sound.
The kids really bonded with the goats, learning to distinguish them by their markings rather than their ear tags.
They leave port, full of cheer and hope...
Strike a light
The Road of Moans
What? Your feet weren't wet enough from the rain, bog, sweat, dew and puddles? We'll throw in some river crossings too then...
Wow, what a view...
Between the clouds. Above the lower and upper layers of clouds was a brief respite from the endless grey.
Marco takes charge of the map for an afternoon and plunges headlong into the jungle
Beni appreciates the breeze on our island excursion
I didn't hear Marco call out the warning about this little sucker as the nearby waterfall drowned out his words but his eyes and gestures got my attention
Marco dabbling. Norwegian trout don't like Tenkara flavoured flies.
The climb up the Strøselva valley was sweaty work in the high humidity. The trail was a delightful combination of slippery rocks and roots laced with muddy puddles.
Western valley wall
Beni and Marco watching Norwegian trout keeping just out of reach
This about sums it up...
Cut down in their prime
Beni's momentos of Norway