MASSIV Day 20: Litlos – Hellevassbu

Sunday, August 28th

Second last day of the adventure off to a good start. After a great Indonesian chicken and rice dish last night and tucking in early, I enjoyed yet another really good night’s sleep. Litlos is yet another favourite cabin of mine. Exceptionally nice hosts, great food and a cozy living room with a view to die for.

Today’s section achieved the near impossible task of being just as spectacular as yesterday’s. Once again the weather helped with clear skies and a lazily warm late summer sun. What made it such an experience though is the beauty of the mountains, valleys, rivers and snow section melting together in a landscape that could well be designed by JRR Tolkien.

As I started todays hike, morning mist over Litlosvatnet had still not completely lifted. It gave an eerie view of small fog dots over the still lakes.

This was another relatively short and very easily hiked trail of 17.5km. It’s neither particularly steep nor difficult to hike, but there is one steep section of ~20% about 7.5km from Litlos. The scenery is so nice though that I barely noticed. Total ascent was 552m, with a total descent of 579m. Highest point at 1420m. This section is also perfect for mountain running shoes. No boots necessary.

Was once again lucky not to meet any humans during my hike today. That offered plenty of opportunities to just spontaneously sit down in various places shielded from the wind and just listening to the beautiful sound of silence. Absolutely nothing. Not a plane overhead, not a remote humming from traffic, or chattering of other hikers. Nothing. And I’m loving it. Furthermore, no matter where you rest your eyes, you can to continue to focus and explore in greater and greater detail while just sitting there, taking it all in.

As this was yet another superb section from beginning to end, it’s hard to rate one part compared to another. One particularly nice area though is towards the end of the hike through Buadalen.

As I’m writing this I’m once again sitting outside baking in the sun. Part of me wants to just turn around and head back 380km to Jostedal where I came from. I can’t believe that by this time tomorrow it’s all over. Thus today is a day of mixed emotions. I am humble and grateful to experience such an awesome last couple of days on my expedition. I’m really privileged to end this on such a high note. Perfect Indian Summer weather. Stunning landscapes. Great new acquaintances. And not a single ache, bruise, blister or burn. I am also glad I did this by myself. Alone. Free to do as I please, roam where I’d like, and set my own pace. I believe I have still travelled with great company though. Even though every single one of my “great inventions” I’ve come up with while hiking alone over these past three weeks are absolutely rubbish, I’ve had great fun coming up with them. And just looking at every rock, piece of moss, cloudberry or turf of grass as I please. It’s certainly been an adventure.

All is not lost though. There’s still tomorrow’s hike to Haukeliseter left. Roughly 22km to go, and before that I’ll enjoy this expedition‘s final Real Field Meal and treat myself to another fruit dessert from the self service storage. And then a final night of quiet sleep in the middle of this beautiful wilderness called Hardangervidda, 20km from the nearest road or modern technology. Life is good indeed.

Today’s statistics

  • Total distance hiked: 17.5 km
  • Total time: 4:50 hrs
  • Total ascent: 552m
  • Total descent: 579m
  • Max elevation: 1420m
  • Today’s favourite item: Garmin inReach Mini. After a few days of zero connectivity, today it felt great to have a long sms exchange with my loved ones at home.
  • Today’s crap moment: Once again I’m coming up short. It’s been another really good day.
  • Toughest section: A few ascents that were more a welcome change in scenery than tough. This section is relatively short, sweet and spectacular.
  • Today’s word of wisdom: Enjoy every single day of any adventure to the max. And No regrets. Now that I’m on the final full day of my adventure I have exactly zero regrets. I’ve done and seen everything that felt like a good idea at the time. Sure, the weather could have been better, but that’s pretty far outside my control. Other than that, I’ve followed and broken my rules as I pleased, I’ve been an inconvenience to no one, made some new friends, and taken the detours I wanted to see the things I felt like.
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Gunnar Florus Mountaineer