Northern Norway T.R.

A forum that'll feed your need for exploring the limitless adventure possibilities found in "other" places. Post trip reports or ask questions about outdoor adventures beyond the Sierra Nevada here.
User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Northern Norway T.R.

Post by Harlen » Sun May 26, 2019 5:03 pm

Since the weather is keeping us fair-weather skiers out of the Sierra I thought I'd return to our endless summer in arctic Norway back in 2006. Yes, better weather there than here- at least our weather right now. Our boys were 6 and 3 years, and homeschooling gave us the freedom to take off for a year and a half to work and travel in Europe. I'll share a few stories and images from the short backpacking trips we did there.

We chose to head right up to the arctic island chains of Norway on the advice of a Norwegian traveler I'd met years before, who told me that if I really loved sharp rocky mountains so much, I would have to come see the Lofoten Islands. So we did. The second part of arctic Norway we visited was the Lyngen Peninsula mountains east of Tromso. Northern Norway is a beautiful region of forest, tundra, fiords and mountains. We were there for the month of July, and it never got very dark; for instance, we could read in bed without headlamps. It was largely an empty land where we traveled. We saw just 5 other backpackers on our early trips in the mountains of the Lofoten and Vesteralen Islands, and on the Lyngen trip we saw only a few locals. We did see otter, mink, red fox, deer, and reindeer- these last were probably the semi-domesticated version. There are very small but growing populations of Eurasian wolf, and brown bear in Norway, and healthy populations of lynx and wolverine. I will include a few photos of these animals which were taken at the "Polar Wildlife Park." This wildlife park supposedly has the largest area to animal ratio in the world, so we felt okay about going there to see the native wildlife. We had wonderful experiences cycle-touring and rough camping, but our short backpacking trips were the highlights of our time in Norway.

Norway (12).jpg
The town below is Reine, and when we saw a photo of it we knew my friend Bjorn was telling the truth about the sharp peaks of the Lofoten Islands. (BTW, this is our first attempt at scanning dusty old slides, and many need cleaning, and a few- like this one, need to be reversed-
:( oh well)


Norway (11).jpg
I short-roped 6 year old Ryan around cliffy spots, which, when climbing in Lofoten, is about everywhere! *Nathan generally stayed in the kid-pack.


Norway (1).jpg
We cycle-toured all through the Lofoten and Vesteralen Islands, alternating between causeways, tidal flats, and ferry boat rides. On backpacking trips, we were told just to lean our bikes against the general store- no one will bother them, and they didn't.


Norway (3).jpg
We were dropped by boat up the fiord, and hiked to the far side of the island. We overstayed our food supply because it was such a wonderful place- both the beaches and the mountains. So we ended up subsisting on limpets for the last day.


Norway (5).jpg


Norway (4).jpg


Norway (15).jpg
We had seen tiny fish in this lake and tried to catch them with limpets for bait- no luck, but fun trying.


Norway09 (2).jpg
On the boat ride back to Reine.


Norway (8).jpg
Cod fishing is one of the staple industries out there.
Norway (9).jpg
Cod fish and son.


Norway (7).jpg
I climbed a high peak behind the town of "A." Yes, that's the name- A.


Norway (14).jpg
Rough camping anywhere you like. Brilliant old law- a version of Sweden's: "allemansrätten (lit. "the everyman's right") ," which means you can camp one night anywhere, even on private farms, as long as you don't set the place on fire, or trample all the crops- that's how it was described to us.
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.
Last edited by Harlen on Sun May 26, 2019 8:03 pm, edited 8 times in total.








User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Northern Norway T.R. Part 2

Post by Harlen » Sun May 26, 2019 5:25 pm

Norway09 (3).jpg
I believe this is the beginning of the Lyngen Peninsula. We cycled a big circle around from Tromso.


Norway09 (5).jpg

Norway09 (6).jpg
Reindeer, cousin to our caribou.


Norway09 (24).jpg

Norway09 (25).jpg
Red deer, nearly as big as our elk!


Norway09 (22).jpg
These wolverines, and the rest of the animal shots are from that Polar Park sanctuary.


Norway09 (7).jpg
Eurasian wolves.


Norway09 (17).jpg
Eurasian brown bear.


Norway09 (10).jpg
Lynx.


Norway09 (15).jpg

Norway09 (14).jpg
We made one last backpacking trip to this glacier region further to the south. I believe it is the Briksdalsbreen glacier.


Norway09 (23).jpg
Great to travel with the kids when they were young, and loved it. Now we'd have to pay them. :(
You must be registered and logged in to view the files/photos attached to this post.

User avatar
maiathebee
Topix Regular
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:59 am
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker
Location: Oakland, CA
Contact:

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by maiathebee » Sun May 26, 2019 6:07 pm

WOW so amazing!!! The Lofoten islands have been on my list for years and years. What am incredible experience for your family!
oh hey! you're reading my signature.
that's nice. want to check out my blog?
here it is: plutoniclove.com
ig: @plutonic_love

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 4624
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon May 27, 2019 8:16 am

Thanks for the report. I will plague you with lots of questions. I wonder what that glacier looks like today? Were you on trails or was it some off-trail? Did you ever go out into those fjords on a boat? Were there bugs (mosquitoes or other nasty creepy crawlies)? Isn't it wonderful to look back at old photos of your kids on outdoor trips. I look back at some of mine and wonder how I actually did it.

User avatar
gary c.
Topix Fanatic
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Lancaster, CA

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by gary c. » Mon May 27, 2019 8:44 am

Beautiful!!
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by Harlen » Mon May 27, 2019 3:31 pm

WD asks:
I wonder what that glacier looks like today? Were you on trails or was it some off-trail? Did you ever go out into those fjords on a boat? Were there bugs...
Regarding the glacial retreat/shrinkage, I read various accounts and predictions: "it's retreating about 43 meters per year," and then: "~800 meters since the 90's," which is comparable. Another account said studies estimate shrinkage of 2,500 - 5,000 meters in the next 85 years." It has thinned, and finally broke into 2 parts in 2011, and this accelerated the shrinkage. There are several different measures of glacial retreat. "Shrinkage" I assume refers to total loss of volume, and the "retreat" can mean simply the loss of length at the toe of the glacier. ??

As for the bugs, there are mossies and midges. They come on in early June and generally last through July. We weren't much bothered, but I understand that the "midges" can be hell.

You also asked about the trails vs off-trail hiking. Our trips in the islands were mainly one or two days in, and then hiking or climbing from a base camp. We camped out every night but one while bike touring. I think one could string together a longer off-trail trip on the bigger islands by combining some high route passes, and some low route, tidal walking. Most of these islands are just a sharp, thin mountain ridge that runs down to the sea. In the Lyngen Peninsula, you could string together a nice mountainous high route. I found an excellent video - no that's not enough praise- this is one of the very best, most beautiful and inspiring, 10 minute mountain videos I've yet found. Besides that, it also shows the best of Norway's Lyngen Mountains. If you stick with it, you'll find it contains some amazing footage of cutting edge ski mountaineering, including the successful avoidance of a scary avalanche through the use of a rope. Do you recognize this Alaskan woman guide WD- Merrick Mordal? She impresses the hell out of us! https://youtu.be/ROnH1lHJQHE
Last edited by Harlen on Wed May 29, 2019 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 4624
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon May 27, 2019 4:08 pm

Amazing! The skiing impressed me more than the mountaineering, since I am such a skiing klutz. Nope, do not know the gal; I think I am about a generation older. Well that puts Norway on my bucket list.

User avatar
CAMERONM
Topix Regular
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:04 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by CAMERONM » Tue May 28, 2019 10:11 pm

Wow, another world.

User avatar
Harlen
Topix Expert
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:13 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: California

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by Harlen » Wed May 29, 2019 6:13 pm

Yes Cameron, it really is an unbelievable, fairyland landscape... actually, it's more of a troll-land landscape.

There really are several species of trolls still living in Norway's mountains. Most are at least 3 meters tall, and weigh between 9,000 and 10,453 lbs. All are partly made of stone, so their weight varies due to rock type. As you can see from the photo below, it is sometimes hard to tell living trolls from their fossilized ancestors..... sorry, the image of the fossil troll wouldn't come across without a lot of other news no one wants to see here. If you look up "troll in Norwegian mountains," you might find it.

User avatar
wildhiker
Topix Expert
Posts: 578
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: Northern Norway T.R.

Post by wildhiker » Thu May 30, 2019 11:28 pm

Hi Ian,
What scanner and scanning software are you using to digitize those old slides? I have been slowly digitizing old slides and negatives with an old Canoscan 9950 flatbed scanner with transparency adapter. I got much better results once I bought the "Vuescan" software (hamrick.com) to control the scanner, partly because he provides built-in color profiles for different film types. Also, he maintains the software even when the manufacturer stops maintaining its version, so I've kept this scanner going through multiple operating system upgrades.
-Phil

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests