Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sandflofossen - Grøndalsvatni

Massiv day 2.
Distance: 30.2km (46.5km), time spent: 11:12 (15:19).
Ascent / descent: 877m (1603m) / 945m (1318m).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 1341m / 1273m / 1427m.
Weather: Changing, from sun and some overcast, to overcast, ligth rain and back again.


Some rain during the night makes sure that the tent is something wet in the morning by the time I get up. The morning itself, however, is free of water in the air and there are suggestions of a blue sky, though it is no less cooler for that sake. The breakfasts I have brought with me, is not as 'sumptuous' as my dinners, it consists of crispbread, a simple fare. I am glad that I do not have to pack up my equipment and tent in rain, but even if it does not drip from the sky, I cannot shake the tent completely dry, so it goes back into my backpack slightly wet and thus heavier.

Morning sky above Sandflofossen, just after leaving.

How far I go today depends mostly on the weather. I want to climb Hårteigen, so my plan is to walk in that direction, but it means little climbing to the top if it is shrouded in clouds. So I will decide what I do when I get to Litlos, where I can get a weather forecast. The most distinctive landmark on the western part of Hardangervidda is not situated on the trail, so this will mean a small deviation from Massiv if the weather holds.

View from Årmoteggi, down towards Dyredokk and further in the direction towards Hellevassbu you walk relatively steep down on snow.

To create something around the Massiv trail, DNT has introduced a so-called Massiv-passport, a small paper card where you can get a stamp for each cabin you pass on the trail. If you get a stamp for each cabin (stage) in one of the areas of the route, you can get a badge for the given area, five in total (one extra for completing the trail). By registering your passport on the homepage of the trail, you can by completing Massive be incorporated into the Hall of Fame. That is not so important for me really, but at Hellevassbu I get the second stamp in my pass (Haukeliseter being the first).

At Sudskar, where you look down upon Hellevassbu. Hellevassbu is a small and pleasant self serviced cabin located in a remote area.

Going to Hellevassbu from Haukeliseter, you will pass Simletindvatnet and Simletind. On my first solo hike, I was camping below Simletind. In the evening, I sat beneath the top and peered up against it, there was something very strange about the view, though I could not really put words on what was wrong with it. It was like the whole top was moving, but at the same time stood still, like something unfocused. Then I saw that it was a large herd of reindeer swarming around, it was something of a magical experience. No reindeer herd to see on this day, but the weather and walk to Hellevassbu have been nice. At the cabin, there are already a few guests, though it is still early in the day.

The path above Buadalen, before you go down towards Sigridtjørni.

The clouds above are denser when I walk to Litlos, where the approximately 16 kilometers to the cabin goes through a wild, desolate and rocky area. Although the mountains in Jotunheimen and Hurrungane are more spectacular, I feel, however, that I am in a more desolate and wild area than in those areas. It does not feel so overcrowded here as it is there (though there could be a lot of people in Hardangervidda as well), I meet few other hikers. Along the way, the sun and blue sky appears again for a brief visit, and in the horizon the distinct shape of Hårteigen is towering, before the clouds remember the overcast weather.

Another snow-dune on the way to Litlos. This one situated beneath Velurenuten. The lake in the foreground is Klerkatjønn, the lake in the background is Kvennsjøen. The distinct shape in the horizon is Hårteigen.

The bridge near the cottages at Søre Belebotnen.

To a tired walker, the last part of the walk to Litlos could be a little bit discouraging, you see the cabin long before you will get to it. When you see the buildings in the horizon, you will not see the lake that lies between you and the cabin at first. Then around one hour of walking follows, where you feel that you go and go without really getting any closer to your goal. Now I am fortunately not so tired. Litlos is one of the nicest cabins on Hardangervidda and it feels good to get inside in the warmth for a break.

Skadvassbekken with Holken behind. You pass by this river on the way to Grøndalsvatni (on the route towards Torehytten and Hårteigen).

The weather forecast for tomorrow is promising, supposedly similar weather as today, only warmer. Now with that sorted out, my plans for tomorrow is given. I sit in the cozy living room in Litlos overlooking the water for quite a while. Ends up having a cold beer, actually two, before I put on my backpack again and continue towards the looming figure of Hårteigen in the horizon. The clock has passed six in the afternoon when I leave, while others arrive at the cabin.

View down towards Mjølrakkerinden and Holken, the characteristic rock in the middle of the picture is Skadvassnuten.

Outside, the weather is kind of sultry, but it does not rain. Not until I put down my backpack at Grøndalsvatni to pitch my tent. Typical. About two hours after I left Litlos, I feel that it is ok to stop walking for the evening. There are several good camping spots just where the trail crosses the outlet of the lake, though the ground is wet. For someone, it would be tempting to test their luck with the fishing rod in the lake, but I left my fishing rod behind at home.

Hårteigen dominates the horizon the closer I get to it.

What little of rain that arrived has fortunately stopped when it is time to prepare dinner outside in the evening. Today, it is a meat stew that forms the basis of the dish, as yesterday, I will add a lot of minced meat, and the side 'orders' will be barley salad. The dinner is served with a nice view and chilly temperature. A colored rim is forming between the mountains and clouds when the sun call it the day.

Campsite at Grøndalsvatni.

To creep into my sleeping bag after sitting outside and cooling down for a little bit too long, feels good, to feel the warmth creep back into the body. At the same time it does make you drowsy after having been outside almost all the day. I like to have some time to relax and calm down after walking, but I do not have too much of a time at my disposal before sleep gets the upper hand (which is of course also a way to relax and calm down on). Reading a little in the light from my headlamp makes time go by, I have brought with me some good Spanish licor de café (coffee liqueur) to enjoy in my tent before I go to sleep.

Map of the trail for the second day on Massiv, from Sandflofossen to Grøndalsvatni past Litlos.

<- SandflofossenHårteigen - Litlos ->

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