Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Norway's beautiful fjords are hiding themselves!

We finally got kicked out of our nice little shelter. That was just too nice to be true I guess!

With some warm temperature, some more low clouds and rain on the forecast, we drove a little bit inland at the end of Balsfjord to a valley call Tamokdalen.

Since this valley is not directly open to the fjord and is sheltered by some mountains, the temperature forecasted there where a bit lower.
The weather was not much better than what we had experience in the past days. It was snowing at the clouds were really low. We didn’t venture too far up since we didn’t had any visibility.
We skied down on some really nice snow and since we were able to get some reference with the trees about where was the slope, we figured a second lap would be great.
As we were all stoke about our second run, we realized that a natural release just happen on the nearby slope! That cut our ambition for a third lap since the snow hasn’t stop falling.

Next day, we went give a try to an area just west of Skjold. Apparently, the weather is usually a bit better there than deeper in the valley.

There was a nice plowed parking in Skold where we saw a couple of cars where park. From this parking, you can ski the mountains on both side of the road.

We gave a try to both of them. The one on the north side didn’t had much steep and was fairly treed out. 
Sorfjelltinden, on the south side had much better terrain.

Pretty strong wind created a nice little soft slab at the top.
With what we saw on the previous day, we didn’t push any higher and lap the trees.
It was so nice to finally have some visibility that we came back the following day.
Amelie’s knee has start hurting in the past 2 days and she figure she would have a day off to rest it has we lapped pretty much the same area than the previous day.
With a nice weather window forecast near Tromsø, we drove back to get after some nice runs that are describe in the book.
I guess the weather can change really fast, since it started to rain and sleet heavily!
... than what should happen, finally happen: Etienne was sick of being wet at night and Amelie as well. I eventually rallied to their argument and we rented a cabin at the Tromsø campground. Actually, that was quite a nice discovery and certainly a plan to remember for a future Norway trip!
We packed the three of us into a tiny 2 persons cabin and woke up warm and dry!

We went gave a try to Skitntinden since the weather was (again!) cloudy and unsure!
There is only a small approach and we were suppose to have an awesome view since the peak was almost surrounded by fjords!

It has almost started to be a classic now on this trip since as we got closer to the top, weather worsen, snow started falling and visibility went to shit! 
We waited for a little weather window and headed down.
Sure enough, as we were a bit more than halfway down, the weather cleared and some better visibility showed up!
Since we got to Tromsø, we’ve been lurking at Tromsdaltinden, the massive mountain just next from town. 
We left the car in a really intense snowy episod that quickly disappear to leave place to a nice blue sky.
 After almost a week of not seeing much, we were really nice of the view we were having from the surrounding fjords.
But sure enough, as we were getting closer from the top, the clouds and the snow moved in!
Since there was some fairly high cliff bands and cornices, we stayed still waiting for the clouds to burn off.

We tried to wait as long as possible since we have already experienced too many times nice weather windows just after we started skiing down!
When we were both pretty frozen after 45 minutes of waiting so we headed down.
As we were awkwardly making our way down, we bumped into a Spaniard that was by himself and also waiting for the sky to clear.

We waited with him for another hour or so.
The wind was much calmer here but still pretty intense!
We dug a little snow wall to get shelter from the wind.
We eventually got a tiny window.
We jumped on our ski and made it quick to the bottom of the slope!
No time for picture here!
Just as we got to the bottom, the clouds move back and we were all pretty stoked to have made it down in the 5-10 minutes window!

With Amelie’s knee not doing any better and Etienne leaving in one day, it looks like even if none of us want to leave, this Norway trip might be coming to an end quicker than expected...


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