Monday, 21 December 2009

A game of two halves

Well after watching my homeland get a dusting of the white stuff last week it was about time my adopted city of Bergen got it's fair share of this rare weather. Like England Bergen is usually kept damp and frost free by the Gulf Stream while the rest of Norway is wreathed in ice and snow. The snow started gently on Friday evening but by Sunday morning the view from my bedroom was very festive.

I decided to have a gad about the reservoir not far from my apartment. My regular running trail was hidden under almost two feet of snow and while a few people were out running and hiking there were just as many who had the right idea and skimmed along on skis instead.

At the other end of Svartediket I decided to take the path that leads up to the second reservoir and see what the weather was like above the tree-line. Trudging up through deep snow my mind wandered to nerdy subjects like dreaming up the ultimate winter glove system...

An hour later I reached the second reservoir and stopped for some hot berry drink and a handful of peanut M&Ms. The wind was fierce up here and it blew the fine snow about, almost blotting out the orange sunset that was desperately trying to make an impact on such a monochromatic day. With daylight fading fast it was time to head home. Hood up, goggles down and I stomped my way back down to the relative comfort of the lower reservoir and then home. I would have a quick pit-stop, refuel with a cup of tea, some soup and bread and then back out into the snow to give the skis a go.

A change of base layers and boots was also required. It felt really good to be skiing again so soon after our weekend away in Ustaoset. If you have a car and a hytte then you can ski in the mountains most weekends but for us a weekend away skiing is a real treat so to be able to put my skis on right outside my front door and slide past the neighbours car felt really good, if a little weird. The trail around Svartediket is not prepared like the cross country routes in the mountains so the going was slow but enough people had been out on skis to start cutting a firmer track through all the powder. It was slower than running but easier than the hiking earlier. It was a lot of fun on the small hills too, as long as I didn't end up flying down one of the embankments and into the freezing black waters, never to be seen again. The weather forecast is for more sub zero temperatures so hopefully the snow will be around for a few more days at least. With no work for the next couple of weeks my skis are leant up against the front door, ready for another run out tomorrow!

5 comments:

Hendrik M said...

Very nice! We have skiing tracks on the lakes, where they prepare them, and also in the forest area behind my house one can go skiing, so it would be very easy to go if I had skis =)

What's your take on the glove system? I need some new gloves, the current ones don't do it for backpacking. I saw Colin's article, and thought to give them merino ones a try.

Dave Hanlon said...

Great stuff. How I imagine living up there to be. Fun on your doorstep.
Sheffield has been given a nice makeover too. Kids are enjoying snow for the first time. They've not got much choice as mum and dad want to be out in it all. Hope to get out into the hills before it all vanishes.

Thunder In The Night said...

Hendrik - the lakes in the mountains are starting to freeze and as soon as the Snow Cats decide it's safe enough to drive across then I'll feel safe enough to ski across! The reservoirs in Bergen? Ah, they'll never freeze enough for me to feel safe to ski across.

The perfect glove system... You know what? I've been typing for an hour on this subject and have just realised that this is probably enough material for a separate post so I'm going to delete the above opus and write something up for the blog! Maybe we can share some ideas there instead.

Dave - to be honest it's not like this all winter! Bergen is more known for it's dull, grey low cloud and constant rain. The record for successive days of rain is something like 87...

I'm planning to make the most of it and it looks like we're going to have a white Christmas over here!

Dave Sailer said...

Lovely blowing snow photo. Reminds me of the old country, where life could be grim and the women look like potatoes. But that's all behind me now. Today we have rain, and my kitchen is full of red Christmas ants. (Another first for me.)

Thunder In The Night said...

Dave Sailer - where is your old country where the women look like potatoes?! Do they have a chip on their shoulder...