Friday, August 5, 2016

Reinsmyrtjørna - Stigstu

Massiv day 5.
Distance: 18.6km (113.4km), time spent: 6:35 (40:58).
Ascent / descent: 282m (3333m) / 358m (3100m).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 1297m / 1223m / 1301m.
Weather: Yet another day with undetermined weather, but the hottest one so far, fog in the evening.

I cannot claim that it is cheerful outside when I wake up in the morning, but the rain eventually stopped during the night. On the ground outside the tent it is wet and it makes some nice gurgling sounds when you step on it some places. From the inside of my tent, the raindrops lying on the canvas looks like tiny rivers that runs downwards. After having eaten more of my dwindling storage of food for breakfast and lunch, I pack together my belongings. To make the tent lighter, I separate the inner tent from the outer tent and shakes both parts well.

Rain moving across the flat areas on the eastern part of Hardangervidda, here from Eiriksbudalen. It is not many obstacles for the weather in this part, so it whizzes almost unobstructedly across the mountain.

Having considered my options, I have today decided to go to Stigstu. If I spend my planned for second night on a cabin at Krækkja, I will get a longer walk to Finse on sunday. I have to reach the train back home again, to continue from Krækkja and spend the night in my tent instead, provide me with a better time to reach the train. Hence, less stress. Another argument is that if I continue from Stigstu, then tomorrow will be a really short day.

What is this pole with two arms that reaches towards the sky? Langavatnet is below.

This section of Massiv has now moved into the eastern part of Hardangervidda. I know about a much tougher route across the plateau to Finse when it comes to the scenery, but on the other hand, the decision to route the trail past Stigstu and Krækkja provides the hikers with a taste of the more flat landscape on this part of Hardangervidda. Not that it is without its own charm, but for a more massive trail, I would have made the trail go past Hadlaskard, Liseth and Rembesdalseter before Finse. Though, this maybe breaks the concept of passing by as many staffed cabins at possible.

Langavatnet with a view to the west.

The flat landscape makes the weather pass faster by, in an already grey view it begins to rain, but it disappears quickly further away into the horizon. Like the weather, I also walk quickly on this surface. There are few meters of ascent and descent to speak of. On the small hilltop before Langavatnet, I pass by an odd pole, with two arms that reaches up towards the weather, I wonder strangely upon what it is.

One of the hunting lodges at Hellehalsen above Langavatnet, by looking at the walls you can see that it is weather-beaten here.

Down by Langavatnet, where the outlet between the lake and Kristentjønn is crossed on a large bridge, I encounter the first of the other walkers for the day, it is a short distance from the parking lot at Tinnhølen and here. In addition, there are more people on the path here than I have met earlier on the walk.

For many, many years ago, I was also crossing the mountain plateau, together with my cousin and two of his friends. Just above Hellehalsen we met three exhausted hikers who all walked with their backs bent, each carrying a heavy load. After we had talked to them for a while, they continued further. When we looked at their backpacks, we understood the crooked backs, they were all carrying their own three liter bag of wine. Later, I read an article in an Norwegian newspaper about crossing Hardangervidda. At the end of the article, there were a small notice that carrying with you three liter of wine was not a good idea. My backpack is far too heavy as it is now, and I do not carry with me any wine.

Contrasts between land and sky in the mountains, just after Tinnhølen / Trondsbu towards Stigstu.

Path towards Stigstu with Skaupsjønuten behind.

Getting to the parking place at Tinnhølen is an anticlimax, a sea of cars, both usual and caravans. Reminds me too much of civilization, but I still eat lunch at Trondsbu, sheltered from the parking sea. Sandwich with cheese and ham, a Norwegian specialty called lefse (sweet bread with butter, sugar and cinnamon), cola, back to civilization. A small Massiv-diversion, on the Massiv-pass it is optional to stamp here at Trondsbu or at Stigstu, but they have not heard about this pass here (they probably will do it eventually).

Stigstu getting closer, crossing on stones over a small bog, Skaupsjønuten in the background.

The weather has now becomes quite so jovial, even hot, in stark contrast to earlier. Here the sun shines from a blue sky, with just a couple of changing clouds above, but around me it is more dramatic. Walking on the flat plain towards Stigstu, I can see several moving skyfalls in various directions. The houses of Stigstu brightly red beneath Skaupsjønuten.

On the way to Skaupsjønuten, sheep grazing on the ridge.

Suddenly, I arrive at Stigstu, too early. Stopping could mean abstinences during the afternoon. It is good then that my curiosity attached itself to the summit of Skaupsjønuten as soon as it appeared in the horizon above Stigstu. At a distance the peak looked like it was closer to the cabin than it is, but that just give me more value for the walk to the top of it. It does not appear to be a path up, I just walk straight ahead up the slope. Sheep walks in a row at the top of the ridge, sheep with a view.

At the summit of Skaupsjønuten (1414m). Dark clouds in the horizon, it looks like it is raining heavily over Store Skrekken. This was great peak to the top of.

At the summit, the wind blows relatively hard. The advantage of getting higher up, when the landscape around is so flat as it is, goes without saying. From 1415 meters above sea level you get wide and extensive views. Drama in the horizons, over Store Skrekken to the south it is raining heavily, there is a dark wall there. A clear blue sky is great, but drifting clouds sometimes makes things more eventful. You are supposed to be able to see Gaustatoppen from here, but now there are not quite a few raindrops in between.

Fog in the evening at Stigstu.

For dinner, mountain trout is served, caught by the hosts themselves. A lot of food, and good it is too. The other guests are a pleasant company. Fog drifts in during the evening and the heat of the day has switched to a sour temperature outside. Stigstu is also one of the nicest mountain cabins here on Hardangervidda, it is a bit smaller than the others, but that may just be the reason why it is so pleasant there. I will not hide the fact that the walk from my wet campsite at Reinsmyrtjørna to here, was not the most exciting on the hike, but that is quite forgotten after the cool walk up to Skaupsjønuten. It was not a hard or demanding walk up to the top, but that is not the point either, the experience at the summit was great.

Map of the trail for the fifth day on Massiv, from Reinsmyrtjørna to Stigstu.

<- ReinsmyrtjørnaFinnsbergvatnet ->

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