Sunday, 20 September 2009

Svinningen. Finally.

Svinningen. Time and time again this defiant little lump had spurned our advances. This time it was a last minute decision. The weather. Will it? Won't it? And us. Shall we? Shan't we? With a two person Norwegian high speed lead-out team we left the car in the car park (good place for it) and motored up the wide, forested walk-in path to the base of her steep, rocky buttresses. Before we knew it we had passed the furthest point we reached last time and were now hands and feet scrambling upwards. Where space allowed we stopped and admired the breathtaking views in every direction. Sometimes taking in the view takes suspiciously the same amount of time as it does to catch your breath...

The wind picked up the higher we climbed and in the time-honoured Norwegian style of 'not this false summit, maybe the next one' Svinningen kept herself from us until she was ready. A small emergency shelter just below the summit afforded refuge from the heat stripping wind. We 'insulated-up', drew out our Topptrim cards and scampered up the final few metres to claim our prizes of a hole-punch and a photie. It was really quite cold at the top and my hands went on strike when I tried to sign my name in the book. If anyone reads my entry I'd like it to be known that I'm not in primary school, despite what my handwriting may say about me.

We all stood around admiring the view for as long as our internal thermostats would let us. Svinningen isn't even the biggest lump around here but it's been hard won summit for us for various minor reasons. Soon it was time to head down, a surprisingly less-than-straight-forward operation with plenty of down-climbing. Svinningen proved just as tricky to give the elbow as she did to court and conquer. We took 3 attempts and two and a half hours to get to the top and two and a half hours to get back to the car.

With her safely in the bag it's time to turn our attentions to some other Topptrim summits and then my attention will turn to a backpacking trip in Finland...

11 comments:

blogpackinglight said...

congrats!

Nielsen Brown said...

Well done, it proves that patience is always a good option when it comes to the mountains. Enjoy your trip to Finland.

Martin Rye said...

Well done on bagging it. Stunning views. It is a fine country.

Hendrik M said...

Congratulations!

robb said...

Incredible landscape. I have to hike there! Simply awesome!

jumbly said...

Third time lucky. Well done!

Holdfast said...

Cheers everyone, it wasn't a particularly big hill but it proved to be a resilient one!

kate said...

beautiful scenery-hill-ier than i expected for some reason. glad you beat your nemesis ;)

Holdfast said...

Thanks Kate. It's the steepness of Svinningen that makes it look more imposing than it's neighbours. And yes, the scenery was pretty awesome. This is about a 15 minute drive from the suburbs where I live...

Chris (i-cjw.com) said...

Congratulations! Never is a peak so beautiful as when it has taken a few shots to get to the top. The view looks magnificent.

I've been meaning to ask for a while, but what is a Topptrim card?

Holdfast said...

Chris - Topptrim is an initative to get people out into the mountains and hills around the city and maybe explore different peaks than they would normally. You pick up the cards from sport shops. The cards give the locations of 9 peaks in the area with Topptrim boxes and punches at their summit. At each summit you punch your card with the different shaped punches and when your card is full you surrender it for a wee certificate and a voucher for use in one of the supporting sport shops. Each year the Topptrim peaks are different. I'm not one for 'ticking boxes' but it's been good motivation to expand our horizons, especially as some of the peaks are a short bus ride from the city and can be done on a summers evening.