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.
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!
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!