Winter Walking in Norway

February 2016



Hosting ski holidays at Dalseter Hoyfjellshotel in Norway for many years, friends Mary & Martin this year introduced snow shoeing in woodland, open hillsides and the rugged mountainous area around Espedalen.

Snowshoes are not difficult to master but care and concentration are needed, and with five full days walking and four half days, and with deep, unpredictable virgin snow off-trail, this provided moderately strenuous walking of a different kind to our British winters.
The opportunity to explore areas away from the usual ski trails makes this wonderfully enjoyable whilst also being spoiled with sumptuous food and excellent and cosy accommodation, Dalseter being a family business since 1950 and now run by Grethe and her remarkable dog, Solan.

After breakfast, Mary, Solan & I left at 0930, returning about 1600 for aqua aerobics with Martin in the pool, followed by dinner and planning for the next day. A very healthy regime!
At first the walking felt slow and arduous, but getting used to it, we covered many kilometres and conditions, glimpsing birds over frozen lakes, a white hare leaping across the frosted snow, willow grouse and moose. The brilliant blue sky, clear atmosphere and enormous panoramas made ideal walking. Who would want the speed of skis when there’s so much to see?

The weather was fine and dry, except for one day of persistent snow. Temperatures from just below freezing to about -20, with light winds at times. The snow was dry and powdery, the atmosphere dry and without the damp chill of the UK.

First, fix your snow shoes firmly for the day ahead

With Dalseter Hoyfjellshotel behind us, Mary(r) & I are the GB Nordic pilot snow shoers

.... and Solan, our local guide, a Standard Poodle

The GB Nordic ski group warm up for action

Snow shoes reach places otherwise unattainable

After a heavy snowfall, we were the first to break the virgin snow

Attaining my first Norwegian mountain, Rundho, 1287 metres, the panoramic view was breathtaking

Blue skies at Rundho cairns, yet well below freezing

The dry, cold atmosphere at both high and low levels makes this a picture paradise

Dalseter Hoyfjellshotel maintains the trails all year round with riding and walking in summertime

Easier walking on the ski loipe, but we enjoyed the off-track routes, looking for moose, birds and white hare

Not yet complete, this tower will be a vantage point for moose watching

Solan leads the way across Sprenpiggen Rundt, a wilderness of beauty and blowing snow, rewarded later at Bingsbu, a warm hut for respite

The routes are well signed

Snow covers dwellings, old and newer at Fredriksaetra

My second Norwegian mountain, Ruten 1516 metres, so cold by the cairn where Solan really needs ear protectors!

The blown snow and hard frost freezes into intricate patterns. We thought it was about -15 near the summit of Ruten, so made a swift descent

The skiers who took this shot of both of us said Ruten summit was too cold and steep for skis

Old wooden skis decorate this grass-roofed cabin

Granny flat with a view

And at the end of an energetic day, my room had a great view, too!

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