Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Skogadalsbøen - Fannaråken

Massiv day 15.
Distance: 10.7km (325.2km), time spent: 5:40 (126:47).
Ascent / descent: 1327m (11161m) / 95m (10091m).
Altitude (start / end / highest): 816m / 2068m / 2068m.
Weather: Overcast, rain, fog, snow and fog.

Today the greatest barrier of getting all the way to Sota Sæter stood ahead of me, the hike up to Fannaråken. It was here that my plan for staying at Skogadalsbøen came into play, I was able to leave behind all of my camping gear at the cabin, that is the tent, sleeping mat, food and stove. It amounts to a lot of weight. I am very grateful for the kindness of those working at Skogadalsbøen for letting me leave it there (then I just hope they do not become angry about me writing about it, if it suddenly should be a lot of people doing the same thing afterwards).

Section through a forest on the first part of the hike from Skogadalsbøen, there would be no trees and woods on the rest of the walk up to Fannaråken.

When I set out from Skogadalsbøen, I must have weighed more than usual anway, but we are then talking about bodyweight. I had eaten a well sized breakfast. There is just one problem with my backpack now being considerable lighter, I walk a lot faster. So quick that I consider walking down again after having been at the top, fearing that there would be a lot of idle time at the summit. I let it be with the consideration, but was close to doing it. When I first have a chance to spend a night at the highest situated 'hotel' in Norway, I should not let it go (although, I will probably get several chances later).

Two sheep looks curiously at me on the way up Jervvassdalen with the Jervvassbreen glacier in the background.

I am thoroughly happy when I arrive at the cabin in snow and fog, but I was not in such a good mood all the time on my way up. At Jervvatnet, it began pouring down again and truth be told, now I was a little bit tired of the continuing bad weather. Got tired of it in the end. So when I speak with some that has come down from Fannaråken, my tone was probably quite harsh (without them deserving it). My mood quickly changed however.

More winter than summer at Keisarpasset, fortunately at this time most of the rain had abated.

Until then it had been a fine walk up from Skogadalsbøen. The woodland after the cabin was quite nice and I could note that just after where the trail crosses over Utla on a bridge, there is a large and good place for camping. The path up Jervvassdalen is simple and easy going, but the mountains around are far from it. Then the rain drops hits me hard in my face at Jervvatnet.

A cool stony path up towards Fannaråkshytta, here above Elvatnet.

At Keisarpasset it is more winter than summer, both on the ground and in the air, although there is not snow but fog you find there. The snow would however come later, as mentioned. From there and up it gets steep, in line with my mood, while the clouds lifts a tiny bit. I know that someone I know also is hiking the Massiv trail and has begun walking from Sota Sæter, and across the snow just after Keisarpasset there is a hiker coming down from the mountain that resembles him, but it is not him. Only a guide on the way down to catch up with the rest of his group (which I had met). It would anyway have been too early.

The path up to Fannaråken are at times well constructed, reminding me of the old wagon tracks (kaldirim) that I walked on in Turkey.

Up from the winter-clad Keisarpasset the trail goes steep and winding up the mountainside to Fannaråknosi. The path is incredibly cool. Some of the parts reminds me a lot of constructred wagon tracks of stone, like the kaldirim that I walked on in Turkey. On the way up, the clouds are turning the mountains below into battlefields, they tear and wear at what can be found of mountains. In between there are tiny hints that it will be opening up above me, for only to close again, but looking down the view is good (and cool). Stony, but beautiful. Amazing scenery.

Clouds wearing and tearing apart the landscape below me on the way up to Fannaråken. Keisarpasset down to the left.

I have a lunch break right next to where guided tours over the glacier comes up from Sognefjellshytta, but there are no one coming from there when I sit in shelter for the wind behind a rock. I am probably not there at the right moment. I might (and probably should) have taken a guided tour on the glacier down from Fannaråken, but then I had to struggle upwards with the backpack fully loaded.

View through the clouds down towards Sognefjellet where Massiv is continuing further from Fannaråkhytta and / or Skogadalsbøen.

Up at the top of the ridge there is no mercy, here the clouds are reigning. The pleasure of the walk up makes me do something I do not usually do. I forget myself a little and walks way too long out on the snow that is at the top of the ridge. First when I stand at the top of Fannaråknosi (1990m) do I see how stupid that really was. It goes straight down from the edge of the snow, and there is an overhang. From where I walked up, I could not see the edge, it was not possible to differentiate between the snow and clouds behind. I have to reprimand myself some for doing that. The view from Fannaråknosi is besides that, cool. Very steep down, I do not want to fall down.

View from Fannaråknosi. Steep down from the snow at the top of the ridge. I was heading for the edge of the snow, without seeing the edge itself. The waymarks (red t's) should be followed at this part).

Then snow and more fog arrives on the last part to Fannaråkhytta across the scree at the top, I can just barely see the dormitory cabin at the top when I arrive. The cabin is living up to its reputation. And it stays foggy during the rest of the day, afternoon and evening. Although there was a short moment when a small window opened up around the cabin, but only enough to see the blue sky, the peaks around still obscured.

A foggy ridgewalk across the scree at the top of the ridge, on the last section up to Fannaråken, shortly after it started snowing.

There is no running water at the Fannaråkhytta cabin, given its location. Water is collected from rain in large containers. I just do a quick rinse in cold water. You get an assigned place to sleep in the dormitory cabin, which is separated from the main cabin below, where there is a room the visitors at the cabin can use, which is also used as the dining room. Dinner at Fannaråken is the same every day, here they do it easy and simple. They serve meatballs of reindeer, or in other words, a well-known dish at the DNT cabins, joikakaker. The cabin might be seen as a more advanced self-served cabin, there are also no alcohol served here for those who wants that (or need).

Fannaråkhytta, the highest situated cabin in Norway with accommodation. Here visible for a short moment underneath a blue sky.

I get some idle time, but I cope fine with it. Outside, it is changing regularly, from a lot of wind, to less, to light rain, to easy snowdrifts and in between indications of a sun through all the clouds. Nice other guests to talk to, as it also was at Skogadalsbøen yesterday. No possibilities of seeing a sunset, and I doubt that it would be any sunrise to see tomorrow morning either. They are supposed to be legendary up here. A cool day.

Map of the trail for the fifteenth day on Massiv, from Skogadalsbøen to Fannaråken.

<- SkogadalsbøenSunrise at Fannaråken ->

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