Friday, April 11, 2014

Backcountry skiing at its best in northern Norway

With a nice day forecast and Etienne leaving at the end of the day, we took off for a not so long tour that was supposed to have a great view. Storsteinnestinden was our pick for the day. With Amelie’s knee not doing any better, she stayed at the car and we pretty piss not to join us.

There were some light clouds as we were started to make our way up but the more we were hiking up, the more those clouds were burning off! 
We eventually reached the summit and were welcomed by probably the greatest view we’ve had of the trip!
Two fjords were surrounding us and with the white peaks and the blue sky, we were pretty mesmerized!
I guess we were both pretty stoked to be up there since we took just wayyyyyyy too many pictures up there!
I would say that this kind of spectacular view is really unique to Norway and it was really nice to be able to enjoy it fully under a nice calm, blue-sky day!
As every good thing must come to an end (and especially since Etienne was taking the plane in the early evening), we eventually had to ski down!

Actually, the good thing was just starting!
There was probably about 15-20cm of really nice cold and fluffy powder and a totally untracked (apart from our own skintrack) mountain to ourselves!

So after the greatest view of the trip, we were enjoying the best turns!
I wish we would have hiked higher up to have a longer descent since all the turns were really nice and smooth.
After one of my best run of the season, we headed back to Tromsø since Etienne now needed to pack his stuff and catch a plane to head back home.
After dropping Etienne at the airport, I hit the road with Amelie to drive south towards Narvik. Anna, a friend of a friend, was living next to Narvik on the swedish side in Abisko. I was to meet her for two days of skiing in this area.

 As boring and uninteresting the drive up was in Sweden and Finland, the drive in Norway was just spectacular! With postal card pictures every town of high point, that makes it very nice to drive around here! The downside is that it really takes forever to get somewhere since the roads are so twisting!
We got to Anna’s cabin the following day and from there, we drove back towards Narvik to have a look at the backcountry. 
There is a cool little resort litterally in town. You can skin up if you like, but we used the lazy option since Anna was able to have us single ride tickets even if that kind of ticket is not really existent...
I just dumbly followed her since I had no clue about where we were going!
It was a great day with the snow really changing a lot between different aspects. After two short laps, we were at the top of a nice really long couloir that was dropping down to the road. The snow was really firm and hardpack, but it was still fairly easy go get the edges to grip.
Anna brought me not too far from her cabin for a little tour. 
We started skinning near the Låktatjåkka train station. We were just barely able to get a grip on the snow since it has been really hardened by the wind. 
We kept hiking up to a cabin were we had a nice pancake with some locally made marmelade.
It wasn’t the greatest skiing ever, but it was such a nice day that it was great to be out there and enjoying it!

Those turns were my last one of this trip since that as soon as we got back to Anna’s cabin, we started our long journey driving back to France where we still needed to find a place to live for the next year. 
Leaving Norway left me with the similar feeling as on my first trip to Alaska where my friend and travelling partner Babiche got hurt cutting our trip short.

I guess I’ll just need to do the same thing as I did with Alaska and come back!

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