Thursday, July 27, 2017

Geitryggvatnet - Iungsdalshytta

Massiv day 9.
Distance: 29.0km (199.3km), time spent: 10:25 (72:51).
Ascent / descent: 695m (5697m) / 806m (5576m).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 1221m / 1099m / 1507m.
Weather: Mostly heavy rain and chilly wind, but with some breaks.

On the second day of this continuation of Massiv, the ninth day really, the weather gods showed themselves from their less hospitable sides. After a noisy night in the tent, where the wind played drums on the tent canvas, I could wake up to the sound of fresh drops on the tent. The plan for today is to go to Austre Volavatnet and camp there, on the way pay a visit to Kongshelleren to get some provisions for the evenings dinner (a nice solution for not to have to carry with you food for two weeks). Plans changes.

A snowbank on the side of Geitryggvatnet that you have pass over.

After yesterday, I am ahead now of my plan. For breakfast, I ate the porridge I prepared outside while the rain danced lightly around me and the tent. It is fortunately not the worst of rain when I pack down my tent, and here I shall be honest, I have never been very fond of packing together in rainy weather. Not a minute too early it seems as well, it does not take long before the rain increases in intensity. Just before Geiterygghytta, I encounter the first hikers coming from the cabin, tightly wrapped inside rain gear. Not everyone seems that happy. I take a short break there for my part also (my excuse is having to stamp the Massiv pass), before I too have to venture out into the cold and wet hike that awaits me.

Dark clouds pushing down over the landscape up towards Rossdalen and Bolhovdskaret.

From Geiterygghytta, Massiv continues further to the self-served cabin Kongshelleren and from there to Iungsdalshytta. Like yesterday, I have walked this path before, then I did shorter days and spend the night at Kongshelleren on the road. The area aorund the self-served cabin is rocky, with both large and smaller stones. It is quite likely that they will be slightly treacherous and slippery in the rain.

For the most part there is nothing but rain and a sour wind all day, but with some pauses between the rainy battles. The breaks are welcome. After I walked quite further than I originally had planned yesterday, it quickly becomes apparent that I will arrive earlier at Austre Volavatnet than I wants to (even though it is tempting to get shelter from the rain as quickly as possible). It all ends up with that I walk to Iungsdalshytta. A night at a cabin so soon was far from the plan, but when I did not stop to camp at Austre Volevatnet, I ended up so close to the served cabin that I chose to go all the way there.

A rock that resembles a tree with lots of chipped pieces of wood around it.

The rain keeps on coming when I walk up towards Rossdalen, but decreases some when I cross the valley and face the ascent towards Bolhovd. Clouds presses themselves threatening down over the mountains, as if they almost wishes to push the mountains down and flatten out the terrain. On the other side after having crossed over the Bolhovdskaret pass it starts again with a renewed vigour. In the rain, the scenery around me becomes a barren landscape. There is not much to do but wrap my rain- and windjacket tightly around me and step carefully further on the slippery rocks. A large rock lies casually next to the path, with large pieces of chipped stones all about it, like a mouldering piece of wood with loose splinters strewn around.

The selv-served cabin Kongshelleren with the suspension bridge you have to pass over to get to the cabin in front.

That there is a lot of water in the mountain now is easily noticed. Last time I went here, I had no problems crossing over on the rocks separating an unnamed lake and Langavatnet to the south of Kongshelleren, with my shoes and feet well dry on the other side. Now, the water is flowing well above the rocks. So much that my boots are covered over by the water. I end up having too wade across larger rivers twice times later. The first time when the path crosses a river before Vestre Volavatnet. I probably could have made it over without taking off my shoes, but it did not appear that way from where I stood. The second time was where the trail crosses Skarvåne before the descent towards Iungsdalsvatnet. Here the water ran so much with a strong current that I did not see any other way to come across. At the same time, the clock had begun to tick late, so I was not very happy to have to spend more time on taking off and on my shoes.

View of Langavatnet from Kongshelleren.

In the middle of a rocky desert lies Kongshelleren, this is a small, but quite nice self-served cabin. I make use of the possibility to eat lunch in dry surroundings. The cabin is also well heated, a couple that is on their way out has made a fire in the oven. When I leave, there is another short break from the rain.

I wade across the river as mentioned, and by Vestre Volavatnet there weather is back to its usual self for the day. Sour and wet. Two eagles sours above in the air. Still, the walk alongside the water is nice. In the air, there is now both the sound of the wind and the water. Some places is the path going on rocks all down by the edge of the water. Above Austre Volavatnet, after confirming that there will be no stop for the night there, I cross tracks with a young girl who also hikes Massiv, in the 'correct' direction.

Dark and gloomy clouds forms a bleak landscape on the way to Vestre Volavatnet.

The shape of the Iungsdalen valley makes it so that there is a small hollow formed underneath the sombre clouds that clings steadily to its position. Above a snowbank I can see the valley as through a window or eye, formed by the snow and clouds. Rain alternating on and off, as if the eye blinks. Water is sprouting from the water falls I pass by. I remember the walk down the valley as a wonderful hike and it is the same today as well. Quite possible the reason why I still keeps on going.

Grey and gusty at Vestre Volavatnet.

I should have found a campsite somewhere around here really, but I push on forward. And ends up tired in front of the door to Iungsdalshytta, it has become a far too long walk with the backpack that I carry. Fair enough, I have walked significantly longer on the trail than planned, but the question is really if I will be made to pay for this later on.

An eye of the storm forming a small window towards Iungsdalen between the gloomy clouds and snow.

To lie inside a tent and listen to rain drops drum on the outer tent is actually something I enjoy quite well, as long as I am dry, but I am not dissatisfied having a roof over my head either. I arrive just in time for the second dinner serving, barely, and while the wind throws the rain at the windows, I can enjoy a better dinner than what I would have made in the tent myself. I eat together with four younger girls that also walks a part of the Massiv trail, in the opposite direction as I am, lead by the leader of DNT Ung (the youth part of the Norwegian trekking association).

Clouds lies like a lid across Iungsdalen on the way down.

Iungsdalshytta is however a place place to spend the night at. In the lounge afterwards are the girls lying and sitting tired after their walk today, they have as me walked a long distance today. From Breistølen and here, about thirty kilometres that also. Tomorrow they will do the same walk as I did today, almost, to Geiterygghytta. For my part, I have not planned to go all the way to Breistølen. Later, the couple I met at Kongshelleren, which also studied the eagles at Vestre Volavatnet with me, appear. They have ate dinned inside, but are camping outside. It is a pleasant evening.

Small waterfalls near the path on the way down Iungsdalen sprouting a lot of water.

A wet day in the mountains.

Map of the trail for the ninth day on Massiv, from Geitryggvatnet to Iungsdalshytta.

<- GeitryggvatnetBreistølen ->

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