Huldreheimen: Ready for the off....

Winters hanging on for grim life here in NL but the first signs of spring are starting to show. Time to get outa here! Head North and enjoy the ice Queens cold embrace one more time before it's too late I say! All being well an alpine start on Friday morning should see me on the hill in the early afternoon. Hopefully with daylight enough to put up the tent and construct the outbuildings. Am I ready? Well, unless I've forgotten something, which is quite possible, everything I need is piled up in a heap in the bat cave. Now I just need to make a final selection based on the forecast and see if it fits in my rucksack. The forecast suggests temperatures will be hovering a few degrees above and below zero. Truth be told, even after subtracting a couple of degrees for the altitude, I find these temperatures more challenging than deep cold. It's all going to be about managing the moisture!

On the subject of that pile, there's a lot of new and untested kit on it. Amongst the newbies are a shelter (a mid so I'm finally going to find out what all the fuss is about), new sleeping mats (a new mat combo, born out of the need to retire my downmat, that may be just a little light on insulation), a new jacket (mid layer and shell in one?), new ski boots (plastic buckets this time!) paired with very different skis (wider and waisted) and a new make of freeze dried food. I'm wondering how this is going to go? I'm most curious about the ski and boot combination. Chosen for it's potential to ward off face plants it could go either way. I'm generally conservative about footwear. In my experience the equation reads: Sore feet = Misery = Ruined Trip. I'm also quite curios about the shelter. I've had little opportunity to try it out here but recent storms have at least taught me that it can deal with strong winds. Heading out into the winter with an untested tent is not normally something I would recommend but this time out there are lots of potential bail outs should conditions take a turn for the worse and then there's always the shovel. I’ll let you know if experiment supports the theory.


  1. We've had hurricane winds in the Scandinavian mountains the last 24 hours. Let us hope that you get here during 'the calm after the storm'.

  2. Jorgen: Thanks! For the past week or so the weather has been quite stable and relatively warm but I've just seen a weather warning for Oppland for friday afternoon. The local forecast for Gausdal is still only predicting light to moderate breeze with windpspeeds of 5-7m/s or so but I expect that will mean that it will be uncomfortable in exposed areas. We'll assess the situation on arival on Friday afternoon and may bend our plan, staying a little lower down and spending friday night in a hut. It will be very easy in the Huldreheimen to change the character of the trip and travel hut to hut through the valleys. This is always a risk when you have a long way to travel and book long in advance so we try to ensure there are alternatives. For us no nipping out on weekends with good forecasts :-(

  3. "...a new jacket (mid layer and shell in one?)..." - I'm looking forward to this. I needed something for summer alpinism as Páramo is just going to be too warm, even on glaciers above 3,000m, so I've invested in a Rab Vapour-rise smock. God, I love that thing - settled some water on it for 15mins as well and it kept it all out. Rather amazing really - the shell is pertex equilibrium and I think it's excellent - durable, soft, windproof and water resistant with a DWR coating. Warm too, with a variety of base-layers (either next to skin itself, Montane Bionic SS or Patagonia R1 depending on weather). So I'm interested to see what you've gone for.

  4. Good luck Dave, I'm sure you'll have a great experience whatever the weather.

    Maz - In 'dry' conditions (snow NOT rain) I like wearing the Vapour-rise next to the skin and carry another, unlined softshell as a 'storm' shell. Anything that breathes well, is water resistant and has a hood works well. The new version of the Rab Alpine or the Montane Dyno (both Equilibrium) work very well with a synthetic belay over the top for stops. One way layering and maxiumum breathability.

  5. Maz, All will out. I'm a fan of vapour-Rise. I also have the smock and use it quite a lot these days. Where I feel it falls down is in strong winds. For most dry cold conditions it's pretty much the perfect high activity layer as its breathability is fantastic but I find, like Joe, I need to carry an additional shell to cut wind. This time I tried a Paramo-like top from Finisterre and it turns out that I'm very happy t have made that choice.

  6. Joe, Great time was had indeed despite the wind!



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