Tuesday, 10 February 2009

It doesn't get any better than this. Really, it doesn't.

A perfect morning. Blue skies. Bright sunshine and another few inches of fresh snow. Too good an opportunity to pass up and with a day off work I filled my Jirishanca and walked up the hill, against the flow, as everyone else went down the hill to work in the city. The path up the ridge was untouched. No footprints apart from rabbits. I shuffled through shin deep powder and marvelled at the silence.

I couldn't believe my luck. It was stunning. I wanted to take photos every few steps. I wished all my friends could have experienced it. I met a few locals out enjoying themselves and practiced my Norwegian. All of them were on skis or snowshoes, gracefully sliding across the jewelled surface while I stumbled up the hill. One minute I was walking along firm crust then, just as I started to relax, the snow would give way and I'd fall up to my hips in powder and have to swim out! One old lady told me I should get some skis as she gracefully skated up the steep slope on her x-country skis, leaving a perfect herring-bone pattern in her wake.

The wind picked up the higher I went so I dug myself a sheltered little arm chair, upholstered with a Duomat and fresh powder and ate my lunch in the sunshine, charging up my personal solar panels. Too soon it was time to head home. I wanted to get up to the summit today after running out of time on Sunday but everything was taking twice as long in the deep snow so I reluctantly retraced my steps down to the main forest track then took a little detour down through one of the quieter, less trodden side tracks. As the afternoon sun warmed the snow caught on the pine tree branches it cascaded off in crystal waterfalls, creating a constant 'shush' sound as if the trees were telling me to stop spoiling the peace with my presence. I couldn't believe how lucky I'd been. I've had many great days here in Norway but this was the most beautiful.


Martin Rye said...

Pinch yourself and you'll find it is not a dream. It is a dream life. Great photos

Holdfast said...

Martin - Thanks. Yeah, on days like that it sometimes feels like a dream. The mercury is due to rise above freezing tomorrow and rain is forecast so I'm off out to enjoy the snow while I can!

Nielsen Brown said...

Fantastic photos and great commentary, not quite as sunny where I was but still enough snow.

Holdfast said...

Nielsen - it's amazing how much better photos come out with a bit of bright sunshine. If only I could get the photos on cloudy days to come out that clear!