Mountain to Fjord 02.05. – 05.05.
In preparation for this trip we had to take in consideration that we need to pack our rucksacks appropriately to different activities. Canoeing, climbing and cycling were those activities we did on this trip.
First thing after we arrived at Bygland and met Len was to have lunch. He told Kyle and Elouise, as they were the most experienced in canoeing, to teach us some basic techniques. I had canoed before but it was a good opportunity to get the hang of it again. We decided it would be the best idea, to put an experienced and an unexperienced person together in one canoe. So Phil happen to be my partner, although we wanted to be in the same canoe in the first place anyway.
Later, we went down the very calm Byglandsfjord. The sun was shining and we just had light breezes from time to time. We stopped each hour for a quick break and took turns on which canoe had to lead the group. Since the weather was perfect, we didn’t have any major problems with navigating or steering the canoes and managed to go a good distance.
We arrived at our destination, an island in the fjord, where Len decided to spend the night, around 5ish. With plenty of time left, Len suggested to have another learning and practicing session before dinner. He showed us some more strokes and techniques which make it easier to navigate the canoe. I found it very helpful.
For the night some of us decided to sleep under the stars while others put up their hammocks. It was so cool to be able to watch the stars while falling asleep and to be woken up by the rising sun. Plus cooking happen to be so much faster and easier since we didn’t have to melt snow and it was still warm and bright outside.
Other stroke techniques:
- J Stroke: For going straight
- Draw/Cross-Draw Stroke or Bow Rudder/Cross-Bow Rudder: To move the canoe sideways
- Stern-Pry Stroke: To move the canoe sideways
On the next day we continued paddling down the fjord until we reached the dam. The weather was still so nice and we even had the chance of playing and fooling around since we had no rush at all. That was a lot of fun.
In the afternoon the majority decided to go for some white water rafting at Trollaktiv. I have never done it before and therefore was quite excited. It was so much fun and the rafting guide was cool too. Everybody seemed to enjoy it very much.
We also spent the night at Trollaktiv in little cabins but already set off the next morning around 9ish to cycle to the climbing spot. The crag was around 20km far from Trollakitv at a place called Kilefjord. I enjoyed the cycling a lot and sometimes found the pace a little bit too slow, but since not everybody had the same level of fitness I understood to go with the groups pace.
At the climbing area we had lunch first and then did some basic top roping. Len also showed us how to set up an abseiling system, which you can work with when for instance you are with beginners who feel uncomfortable to abseil themselves. Also this so called Z-line makes it possible to create several fix points for setting up a top rope using just one rope. Moreover we learnt what to consider when setting it up and how to adjust the system due to different rock shapes like sharp edges. The rest of the day we spent with more climbing and bouldering before we had dinner and went to sleep at the crag with a beautiful view over a lakeside.
The whole trip was a delight. The group went along with each other very well and we had no problems. Due to different skills of fitness or experience it happened that people had to wait for each other or give each other helpful tips for a better technique whatsoever. We were so lucky with the weather which made things so much easier for everyone.