Sunday, 5 October 2008

A game of two halves

The day started with so much promise (see earlier post below) but we failed to adhere to the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) or the 5 P's (Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance) and instead of just walking out of our apartment and up the hill to the snow we had an 'idea' and walked down to the bus stop, took a bus into the centre of Bergen and then walked up to the Floybanen funicular railway and took a cable car up to the top of Floyen to get to the snow. The idea was to walk down the other side of Floyen, across the dam ("Is this the God dam?!"), up the darkside of Ulriken, along the ridge and down to our place for tea and medals sometime in the early evening. Unfortunately every tourist and local in Bergen had the same idea and we were not enjoying the peace and quiet of the countryside but listening to the general hubbub of hundreds of people sharing 'our idea'. The footpath off Floyen is partially paved too and we couldn't get down quick enough. We walked across the dam and then the real fun and giggles started. We followed the 1:25K map as best we could but could we find the path up the darkside of Ulriken? Could we balls! We even passed a couple of locals coming down the only faintly footpath-esque route visible who's first words were "Don't go up there!". They displayed visible use of the ass-crampon and after all four of us checked the map again we decided to retreat. It also started raining, hard. It was a pish moment. The weather, time and navigation ball-ups were sending us home while the first snows of the year washed away 200m above us. We walked despondently back to the main road and took a bus home. Our mood was darker than the skies.

We mooched about at home, eating our packed lunch at the breakfast table and watching the mighty Reds go 0-2 down at Man City by half-time. I looked out the window. Still raining but only drizzle now. If I was going to turn it around I had to do something now. M was already under a blanket on the sofa with her head in a book and she didn't entertain the idea of running up the hill to play in the snow, even just for a few minutes. I on the other hand got dressed, put on a warm hat and left the building.

20 minutes hard slog later I was high on the forest paths and snow lay all around me. We should have done this first thing this morning! It was still raining lightly but I kept the pace up and stayed toasty. I slipped and slid out onto the hillside and up to the first hytte. Clouds were rolling in hard on the main ridge and with darkness only two hours away I knew further progress would be foolhardy. I had the place to myself, only seeing a couple of people coming down off the mountain while I was huffing and puffing my way up. Snow muffled all the sounds except the trickle of water as the sun earlier had created a lot of snow-melt.  It was stunningly cold and pretty as a picture. The lakes were dead still and reflected the monochrome scenery perfectly. I took some pictures, zipped the Lite-speed up tight and jogged home, my fleece beanie and Powerstretch gloves were damp but warm. When I got in I checked the BBC website and saw that Fernando had turned things around too, scoring twice and setting up an injury-time winner. Result!


Droptop said...

Hi Sounds like you are mainly enjoying yourself over in sunny Norway.

I thought I'd wish you a happy birthday from those opposite the 'Angel'

Holdfast said...

Droptop - It's not all fun and no work! I do have a job looking after 23 kids everyday! Thanks for the birthday greetings. I trust 'The family opposite the Angel' is well and that work is bearable!?