rondane.jpgBig Sky Country
Last weekend we went hiking in Rondane, a national park area a few hours north from Oslo. We hesitated a bit because the weather forecast was so lousy all week, but Friday morning we had blue skies and we set off. The drive took us through Lillehammer where we purchased some fantastic silk lakenposer at the local hiking association shop. The lakenpose is the preferred sleeping accessory for Norwegian hikers; a double sheet shaped like a sleeping bag, with a pocket for a pillow. The cabins all have beds with pillows and blankets, so all you need is your lakenpose.

rondvassbu.jpgOur base was Rondvassbu, a large full-service cabin, and we arrived just in time for a delicious trout dinner. Not only Norwegians make their way to the mountains, our table had both Germans and Swiss travelers. The place was pretty packed and we got beds in a room with a chronic bedturner and a guy who apparently really wanted to sleep outdoors since he decided to set the window wide open in the middle of the night when it was like -5C outside. At 7 AM there was too much racket to sleep anymore so I went out and snapped the sunrise on the peak behind Rondvassbu. Evidence of the cold night is still on the roofs; winter is always just around the corner in this part of Norway.


Rocky Road
On day 2 we set out to conquer Storronden, a peak of 2,142 meters (coincidentally the peak right above Sabine’s head in this photo). It probably doesn’t seem so high compared to what you find in the Alps or Rockies but it’s fairly high for Norway, where nothing rises much above 2,400 meters.

The treeline in southern Norway averages around 1000 meters so when you get above that things start looking pretty barren. Soon our feet had to navigate a vague trail through a landscape of rocks. There is almost no vegetation here, yet we still spotted a lemming scurrying about among the rocks. My mind wandered…

paatur.jpgThe prevalent organism is Map Lichen, a thin colorful crust that grows on the rocks. This lichen is so hardy it can survive in the icy vacuum of outer space! We, on the other hand, are less hardy and when the weather turned and snow started drizzling we abandoned the peak and headed back to Rondvassbu for warm coffee. With little hope of improved conditions we returned home that evening. A short but intense late summer hiking experience. Takk for turen!

(Download a Google Earth view of Rondane)

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