Sunday, 11 October 2009

Black Dam, white mountains

Blue skies enticed me out from under my duvet to have a proper day out around Svartediket and up into the white frosted hills. Turns out most of Bergen was unaware that snow had fallen so close to the city. The lower hills encircling the city are still coloured with the hues of autumn and it's only the more adventurous or recently airborne residents that knew that winter had arrived already.

Porridge-fuelled and shod with winter boots I made the short walk past the dam and onto the path. I glimpsed my apartment back through the trees, suddenly aware how precarious it seemed, perched betwixt mountain-side and dam. I wondered if avalanche and flooding were covered on my contents insurance...

The gravel path wound it's way around the reservoir and this time I took the left fork that leads up to the second, higher reservoir. Just past the water the elevation reaches 500m and with almost a straight edge precision the trees stopped and a faint covering of intermittent snow took over. The blueness above was suddenly not alone and rogue clouds marauded the skyline, causing striking lighting effects when I looked back towards Ulriken. Over the next ridge and left at the crossroads the signs pointed towards Vikingshytte. A hive of activity in summer, offering ice-cream and crowds, it was now serving just ice and solitude. Brown cheese sandwiches and coffee were consumed along with the stunning views across to the mountains to the east.

Up along the high ridge the snow thickened and the path disappeared. For the first time in ages I walked along hand-in-hand with map and compass, keeping myself on bearing and mindful not to miss my turning. The sky continued to play out it's ever changing palette routine, one minute blue and benign, then streaked with brushes of white, brooding gray and finally the encore of those black clouds, drifting along like dark galleons on higher winds.

As I encircled Svartediket far below I started to head down, meeting a few people along the way. The snow started to recede and ice took over under-foot. Hmmmm, my thoughts turned to crampons once again. Back down into the trees the colours started to warm up as the sunshine returned. The weather forecast predicted another few days on sunshine. I wonder...

6 comments:

Dave Forsyth said...

Had to read 'Vikingshytte' 3 times before I got what you meant...

kate said...

never mind the crampons, soon be time to get the skies out!

Dave Hollin said...

excellent pictures as ever and early snow to boot. Winter is a-coming.....
:)

Hendrik M said...

You got some very impressive landscapes in your backyard. My little hill and forest is nothing against it in comparison.

Passport?!

Nielsen Brown said...

I think I need to visit Norway again to overcome my "mountainitis". Great photos keep them coming.

Thunder In The Night said...

Dave - :-)

Kate - shhhh! No talk about skis just yet! You'll scare the snow away.

Dave - thanks. I'm excited already.

Hendrik - I'm a very lucky boy. There is an express international package waiting for me at my old residence. Fingers crossed it's my passport. Now all I need is some time off...

Roger - thank you, nice photos are easier to take when the scenery is that good. The mountains are stunning all year round but they are especially resplendent in winter.