Haukeliseter 21.02. – 25.02.

Haukeliseter 21.02. – 25.02.

Our original plan was to do a three day tour from Haukeliseter to Hovden about 45km far (details can be looked up on https://www.ut.no/tur/2.3350/). But things went different. On the day we were about to start our tour the weather was terribly snowy and windy and it was obviously impossible for us to navigate through unknown terrain so we decided not to leave the lodge in Haukeliseter and just to stay in our cabin. But after being inside all day we decided to ski around lake next to the lodge to be active at least a little bit. The conditions still were awful and it was difficult to picture hills and slopes that were just ten meters far. Due to the heavy snow and wind some group members went back to the lodge while others kept on going.

In the night the group’s atmosphere, which has been very good before, dropped because of different opinions on what to do on the following days. Some still wanted to do the tour while others didn’t think it would be a good idea. And since the majority rather wanted to do loops in the mountains around the lodge, we just did a 12km tour on the next day.

To realise the aim of increasing our carried weight during skiing we then all took our rucksacks with us. First I was struggling a bit but got used to it after a couple of minutes. Leading the group and breaking the snow to create a track also happened to be more difficult in a deep powder snow.

All in all the tour was really fun although it also was demanding. Some of us got back to the lodge a little bit earlier and started to set up the tent already. Just as one tent was already set up one group member came back from speaking to the staff of the lodge and told us tenting on a lake would bring down the temperature up to an extra -10 degrees and that they suggest us to move our tent to landside. Because the sun was already about to set and one group member was seriously suffering from the cold some group members decided to spend the night again in the cabin. The others, including me, just relocated the tent somewhere else. Four people slept in the tent which froze during the night. I slept at the edge and could recognise when my sleeping bag was touching the inner tent because it got remarkable colder at these spots. But still it was a cool experience to sleep outside with those freezing temperatures.

On the next day some group members left the lodge already to head back to Kristiansand while me and another group member decided it wouldn’t have been worth to just ski for one day so we stayed another day instead. One could tell everybody tried to prevent everything was fine but it was recognisable that some people were tired of each other after spending the last days together. I personally think it was a good experience to learn that the group’s social cohesion could change due to different attitudes and views within the group.

So just me and another group member went for another 8 km loop on the next day and like the day before we had stunning conditions. No clouds at all and just sunshine made both tours very special. Also when it was just the two of us we moved way faster than with the whole group. We were able to do fewer breaks and vary the speed due to our own skiing skills.

Because of a suggest from a local Norwegian girl we met during our stay at the lodge we tented up the mountains next to the lodge to have a better chance to see northern lights. She told us the chances were pretty good between 21.00 and 00.00 at this night and the night before. So like the night before when we were tenting next to the lake we went out to a spot where the light pollution was very low. Unfortunately, except for a beautiful sky full of stars we didn’t see any northern lights. Anyhow to see a polar fox was a comfort for us.

The last night in the tent was a bit warmer and more comfortable since it was just two of us sleeping in it. We used the storm kitchen for cooking the first time at this night and it went well.

For the next time I would also create some sort of a Plan B, which includes further options to chose from if anything goes different than expected. In that way we could have avoided having different views on what to do, if, like in our case, the weather conditions are too bad to start our tour on one day. Also I would make clear to prepare ourselves better due to changing conditions for example to bring food for an extra day or at least portion it properly so nobody would run out of food for the case we have to stay a day longer.