Monday, 12 January 2009

Round 2

After the debacle of Saturday I decided to have another attempt at a nice, long day in the hills without trying to forget anything and making sure I checked the weather forecasts properly. 8C, 40km/h winds at first but lessening all through the day, slight chance of precipitation. Positively tropical for Bergen at this time of the year! Adequate clothes packed, plenty of snacks and a proper lunch prepared.

Yeah it was a bit nippy at first but by the time I left the forest I was warmed up and raring to go. I decided not to follow any of the regular paths out into the hills and instead explored new ridges and valleys up to the plateau. I was up in the clouds now, visibility was really poor so it was a good test for one of my Christmas presents. Once I hot the top I pulled on extra gloves and my Lite-speed, grabbed a handful of chocolate peanuts and reached for one of the two water bottles I was especially careful to pack. Bugger. I could see them sitting on the kitchen counter. I swore at myself for being such a doofus, especially after what had happened on Saturday and then I remembered something I'd read on BPL. With a snip of the scissors on my penknife I fashioned an ultralight drinking system out of the plastic bag that was carrying my sandwiches.

Finding water has never been a problem in Norway (especially with the hills in another thaw) and I've never been ill from drinking the water, as long as you follow a few simple precautions. The water was ice cold and very refreshing. Day saved.

After a few more lucky direction changes and the odd sneaky peaky at the map I came across this waterfall, spewing snow-melt in a noisy display of nature and decided to stop for lunch in the shelter of a bush. The wind was still tearing up the hillsides and cloud was streaming either side of my protective picnic spot.

I didn't stop for long and headed off up along another new ridge line and found myself having to double back a couple of times as promising paths petered out into nothing or simply stopped at a cliff top. Thinking back I don't think it was quiet all day. The sound of pounding, running water seemed everywhere, usually just out of sight in the mist. I found some really nice spots for camping that I'll be back to try soon enough. I started heading downhill and noticed that the wind had died down a lot and was slowly being replaced by rain. I spent a lot of the afternoon following my compass through the cloud down across seemingly featureless tracts of tussocked moorland and scrub before finding another stream and then a large rocky outcrop with a trig point on top. I pinpointed myself on the map and headed towards home as the light started to fade. In my pocket I checked for the umpteenth time that I had my front door key this time and sighed with relief when I found it again. So last time I forgot some clothes and food, this time I forgot my water bottles. What can I forget next time?


John Hee said...

now thats what I call a waterfall

Nielsen Brown said...

A great and successful trip, maybe you do not need those water bottles after all. I guess we all forget things at times and some of this is a result of them being less important (subconsciously at least) than other items.

Great photos

Holdfast said...

John - this was one of dozens of 'flash' waterfalls that I saw that day. They spring up when there is a thaw then disappear a few days later.

Nielsen - it was a lot better day out than the previous trip! I was so careful to fill two bottles of water and consciously place them in the kitchen where I wouldn't forget them. Then my mind must have slipped to what shoes to wear and the bottles remained where they were! Funny how the mind works sometimes.