After such a good time on Friday we looked forward to another days skiing in the mountains on Sunday when we were lucky enough to be lent a car again. This time we took some friends with us who also enjoy being out in the mountains and who are also new to cross country skiing so no-one was going to get left behind!
We arrived at Kvamskogen again and set off up the trail in a mix of hail showers and snow, broken up by periods of warm sunshine that threatened to boil those of us who were wearing waterproofs from head to foot! There were less people about today as the Winter Break came to an end and families were leaving their cabins, effortlessly whizzing down towards the carparks with full rucksacks, casually careering past, one-handed, with ski poles in one hand and bags of rubbish in the other.
Near the top of the trail we sheltered behind a small hill, out of the cruel wind that tore at the crusty snow and dug a snow bench, using the skis first as shovels then as planks to put our sit mats on. There we poured warm coffees and scoured the map for a suitable circular route. We'd already reached the high point of Friday's adventure so we planned to go further up the hill, over the back of the resort and along the ridge at the top of the alpine lift.
To get warmed up after our stop we marched straight up the highest and steepest point of the marked trails and we were immediately faced by a sharp, steep, twisty decent. Some of us managed it down safely on the waffer thin skis whilst some of us decided it was better to 'live to fight another day' and snapped out of the bindings and walked down. M, fresh from her victorious and confidence-building exploits of Friday decided to give it a go and a couple of corners later came a cropper and fell awkwardly. Mummy's little soldier didn't let a little fall stop her and gallantly carried on the rest of the day in some pain which was later diagnosed by a doctor as a ruptured cruciate ligament in her left knee.
M's injury took a bit of the shine off the rest of the day which was ended up being long and tiring as the trail snaked across the ridge and slowly zigzagged back down to the resort but we enjoyed some stunning views of the Hardanger mountains and fjord. We stopped again on the way down, disturbing a winter plumage ptarmigan and building another snow bench where we scoffed chocolate peanuts. Those of us that managed to stay injury free gained even more confidence with the technical side of the skiing and plans for a couple more trips before the season closes were made. M was upbeat and determined in the face of several weeks of rest and possibly longer doing physiotherapy. The need for a surgical intervention is slight but never-the-less worrying. As I've already undergone knee reconstruction several years ago I know how she must be feeling. She'll be back though and is already talking about her comeback session in the mountains.