For us, April means one thing, Norway. The winter season in the Alps had been very much hit and miss, mainly miss, with very few epic days. If I was being honest, the rumours from Norway was of much the same. I kept it quiet but I did not hold out much hope. How wrong I was. It was full on epic!
The plan for 2017 was to do one week in Lofoten and then head up to our home-from-home in Svensby on the Lyngen Peninsula. The Lofoten Islands are a long spurt of mountainous islands that stick out of the top of Norway like a witch’s finger. They are smaller than Lyngen , but their steepness leads to some action packed skiing. They really are stunning and Reines at the far end is known as one of the most beautiful villages in the world.-a picture postcard.
Driving back up to Lyngen for the second week allowed me to appreciate the vastness of Norway and the volume of possible routes, is off the scale. Everywhere I looked on the 6 hour drive, I saw peaks that were skiable. That, with the lack of people makes you feel like you are at the final frontier. No wonder Scandinavians are happy people.
It was a welcomed sight to pull up at the Svensby ferry. 20 minutes crossing instantly relaxes you and allows your eyes to dart across the mountains of the Lyngen Peninsula that you are heading to. The glistening peaks indicated fresh snow. Our first guests were a group from a great ski school based out of the French Alps, Snoworks. They organise many ski adventures and use us for their Norway trips. The clients’ faces showed amazement, as they started, they just could not believe where they were.
There were a few days of snowy weather which topped up the whiteness and meant that some laps below the tree-line were necessary. This was not a problem as the powder was fresh. The trusted yr.no weather page was suggesting bright skies at the end of the week and it did not disappoint. A blue bird day of skiing back to the sea should be on the bucket list for any skier.
The fresh snow lead us nicely onto our last week and what a week it was! A high pressure system got itself wedged in and the stable conditionsmeant that I could tick off a few more mountains in the area. Istinden, a peak that rises up from the sea next to some avalanche tunnels has always lured me. You can see the steep descents from Kavingtinden and Rornestinden. The hard going ascent paid off with fresh lines.
A visit to the Blue House in Svensby, meant one thing, cod dinner. Straight from sea to plate and cooked in the BBQ hut- it was delicious. A time to reflect on how amazing the place was.
The last group has evolved from long time Traversers, Ben and Paul Leandro, they were back for another year. They were desperate to get some boat action, so we organized a fishing boat to take them into the glacier that goes up to Tafeltinden. Steiner, their guide, is not one for common peaks so we bypassed the main peak and took an untracked neighbour. It was a large amount of travel across the glacier, but well worth it for the experience of true isolation.
This year’s trip to Norway really was one that never stopped giving. The conditions, the terrain, the people that came, all made it one of our classic adventures. We certainly hope to see familiar faces out next April along with others who can experience the true sea-skiing experience.