MASSIV Day 17: Krækkja – Dyranut

Today’s the second day of the last of the four mountain areas of MASSIV, Hardangervidda. Yesterday at Krækkja was super and such a contrast to Finse.Very nice hosts, excellent food, a cozy room and a living room with a massive fireplace. Once again I also had the good fortune to meet a couple of very nice fellow hikers. They even shared my view that the further you get from roads and trains, the more genuine the people. Absolutely splendid evening with great conversations and lots of learning. Thanks guys!!

The hike today represents the biggest deviation to the published MASSIV trail on my expedition. Both the Stigstiv and Trondsbu cabins are closed, so I’m taking a slightly more western route straight west to Kjeldebu and then southbound to Dyranut Fjellstove where I’ll spend the night. Tomorrow I’ll be reconnecting to the official MASSIV trail at Sandhaug. A few extra kilometres, and a super opportunity to try out the fantastic food at Dyranut Fjellstove.

Compared to the other three mountain areas Hardangervidda is relatively flat, yet today’s section still offered a couple of ascents, with the second one between 15 and 17km was relatively steep compared to the past week’s hikes. Total ascent was 1069m with a total descent of 979m. The highest point was at 1312m.

The weather was OK with some rain during the middle of the day. What was interesting was watching the cloud and weather fronts from a far. I recently read Tristan Gooley’s The Secret World of Weather, and the wide open spaces of Hardangervidda gave me a unique opportunity to observe and put my book knowledge to practical use. Always enjoyable to master a new set of skills.

Different cloud systems ahead.

Less than a kilometre from Kjeldebu I came across the biggest cloudberry meadow I have ever seen. I was in cloudberry heaven, and ate somewhere between a hundred and hundred and fifty cloudberries. Stomach was not entirely happy with that, and it put me at least an hour off schedule, but that’s what these hikes are all about. Spotting something interesting, nice and/or tasteful, and then enjoying it to the max. Cloudberries for the win!

I’ve been privileged and lucky to dine exceptionally well during this expedition. Today’s meal at Dyranut Fjellstove is in a league of its own though. First some Baked Brie as an appetiser, followed by an exquisite chicken broth and tenderloin of deer for main course. All rounded off with crème brûlée. The chanterelle sauce with the main course was simply to die for. Nom! This place is most certainly worth making a detour for the food alone. Add to that, the room came with its own bathroom, shower and fireplace. Nice.

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Today’s statistics

  • Total distance hiked: 23.53 km
  • Total time: 6:35 hrs
  • Total ascent: 1069m
  • Total descent: 979m
  • Max elevation: 1312m
  • Today’s favourite item: Again my Topo MTN Racer 2 mountain running shoes. They’re so super light with such a wide tie box that it’s almost like hiking barefoot.
  • Today’s crap moment: Immediately after eating a hundred plus cloudberries.
  • Toughest section: Apart from leaving the cloudberries, the final ascent was steeper than anything I’ve hiked in a few days.
  • Today’s word of wisdom: Make sure to eat plenty of salts on long trips. Drinking large amounts of water can start flushing the body out, and adding some salty meat to your lunch pack helps. And more than a spoon on salt on the breakfast eggs.
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Gunnar Florus Mountaineer