Sunday, March 18, 2012

Winter experience close to home

Winter is coming to an end here in Oslo with spring just around the corner. Tell-tale signs are everywhere: small, furry buds are appearing on branches, the chorus of small birds outside our kitchen window is intensifying and easter candy in yellow wrapping is apperaring in the local supermarket. We did actually have 5-6 inches of snowfall last week, but that is all gone now. Yesterday (March 13th) the norwegian meteoroligists recorded a record high temperature of 16.1 degrees celsius which is quite amazing for early March in Norway.

I´ve never been much of a winter hiker/camper, much preferring the warmer months. I had however planned to do more of it this year, even some cross country skiing, but that didn´t happen for various reasons. What I did manage was an overnighter some weeks ago in the Østmarka area close to where I live. We´re not talking wilderness hiking far away from civilization here, but it´s still good winter experience to be had for a novice. Helen couldn´t join because of an injury that needed to heal, but I´m confident she´ll soon be hiking along me, making me laugh and enjoy life more than ever. I leave you with pictures from my hike and wish you all a great week.

Walking out to the campsite. Some of it was on prepared ski trails where I had no use for my snowshoes. They did come in handy later though.

While being passed by skiers I did realize that I wasn´t travelling in the most effective manner possible :).

I love the huge front pocket on the Paramo. It´s like 50 litres of capacity isn´t it?

Close to the campsite now, just had to take a right and climb a hill. Light was fading fast so I was eager to make camp.

After the Duomid was pitched I started cooking dinner, needing first to melt some snow. At this point the wind had picked up a lot and visibility was low . I was warm and comfortable though with all my layers on and didn´t mind having to wait for my hot water. It did take longer than usual with the wind blowing like that. I was quite pleased with how the duomid coped. All the pegs had been hammered into the frozen ground and I was confident that all my guyouts could be trusted to hold throught the night, which they did.

It´s so nice to lay in the sleeping bag, warm and comfortable, waiting for dinner to be ready while the wind is blowing hard outside.

I awoke to a beautifull morning, quite the opposite of the day before.

Melting snow for breakfast. It went quite quickly with the MSR Whisperlite doing it´s thing under beautiful, calm conditions.

Still, at this point I regretted not having carried more water :).

Hiking on and enjoying the morning immensely.

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