Today’s section was short and sweet and most certainly among the easier of the entire trail. Fully charged with three servings of moose stew for dinner last night, I hit the trail at nine o’clock as usual. Weather forecast was a bit colder than reality so I had to change from long sleeves to T-shirt after only a kilometre.
Total hike length today was a mere 16.8km, slightly expanded from the trail path to include a short detour to St.Paul, a nearby summit with a spectacular view.
Total ascent was a mere 685m, some of which was on the St.Paul detour, and total descent 689m. Steepest section roughly six kilometres in, after about an hour and a half, but nothing compared to the ascents of the first few days of MASSIV. Max elevation was St.Paul at 1694m. The path to the summit is not marked, but very easily found simply by correlating the map with the terrain.
The view from the summit was indeed stunning, and thanks to the relatively clear skies I could see both the Hardangerjøkulen glacier and Hurrungane to the north, that I passed over a week ago.
As you start the descent towards Finse you also pass by Klemsbu, the only cabin I have ever seen that is designed and built for so much snow that it has a half second floor only for an extra entrance if the main one is completely snowed in. No wonder they filmed Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back in Finse with all its snow.
The further descent towards Finse is nothing short of spectacular. Beautiful Norwegian scenery with a glacier in the distance, mountains surrounding it, valleys of green and grey and plenty of rivers and streams.
Approaching Finse was admittedly a bit strange. The most houses I’ve seen in one place since setting out on this expedition was probably a dozen winter cabins near Filefjell, and now I was facing a railway station, a couple of hotels, a mini ski lift and a few dozen houses. Compared to the past couple of weeks the view was a little intimidating.
Finse DNT is nice but has a bit of the same industrial feel as Sognefjellshytta. Checkin is at 15:00 so despite the room being ready, policy dictated a wait for at least an hour. That’s not a problem when it can be spent enjoying a well deserved ice cream in the sun. I actually spent two hours waiting.
The room has a spectacular view of Hardangerjøkulen, and appears to be reasonably quiet. By some use of diplomacy I managed to get a room all by myself tonight as well. I know room sharing is the hiker way, but I was not put on this planet to share rooms with strangers and some times one just has to accept one’s shortcomings.
At Finse I also received the second and final care package I had sent to myself before commencing the expedition. A small bottle of shampoo, a freeze dried meal for the next self service cabin, some tea, blister bandaids that I won’t need and a lot of chocolate and snacks. Super happy I planned ahead, as receiving these gives a surprising amount of joy!
Please note that these posts are only updated whenever I stumble within mobile network connectivity. If you’re curious about progress in between posts, check out the Live GPS Tracker which is updated automagically.
- Total distance hiked: 16.78 km
- Total time: 4:36 hrs
- Total ascent: 685m
- Total descent: 689m
- Max elevation: 1694m
- Today’s favourite item: MSR Titan Cup for both lunch tea and brushing my teeth in
- Today’s crap moment: The few minutes I thought I would be room sharing.
- Toughest section: None really, this is a very easy hike.
- Today’s word of wisdom: Bring a (super light) carabiner to hook into your backpack for items to hang for easy access, such as your gloves when not using them.