MASSIV Day 9: Slettningsbu – Sulebu

Wednesday August 17th, posted one day late due to lack of mobile coverage

Interesting experience last night. Having had an OK freeze dried meal, dried my wet clothes on the stove and prepared for the day to come I went to bed around ten, still alone in the cabin. Much to my surprise I was woken up around quarter to eleven by a family of five Germans. In pitch black darkness. And night fog. Hiking with small children across slippery boulders in unfamiliar mountains. To me this represents a new level of recklessness. Headlamps are nice, but what would they have done if either in the group had slipped and twisted an ankle, or worse?

Today’s section was beautiful yet uneventful. The total distance was only 19km, with 754m ascent and 740m descent. Many areas look the same and I find myself missing the wild mountains, waterfalls and valleys of Breheimen. The scenery has definitely changed now that I have entered Skarvheimen, firmly leaving Jotunheimen behind.

Found no cloudberries today, but still have a crystal clear albeit short favourite part of today’s hike: The old King’s Road between East and West. The trial only followed the road for one or two kilometres, but the way our forefathers built the roads into the landscape make them both beautiful and comfortable to hike even today, 2-300 years later.

Had a great lunch at the point where the trial parts with King’s Road. As I stayed at a self service cabin last night there was no gluten free bread so I ate one of my self-carried Real Field Meal with Pulled Pork. Lots of calories, lots of fibre and lots of energy. Yum!

Short climb back up to 1200m east of Sula, and then an easy hike onwards to Sulebu, arriving around three o’clock. There was some intermittent rain throughout the day, but not sufficient to warrant rain gear. Doesn’t really matter if the jacket gets wet from the inside or outside. A little wind kept the bugs away, and the light skies helped regulate heat and sweating.

Trying a new flavour of trail food today – Summit To Eat’s Chicken Fajita with Rice. Tastes OK, but needs spices. Looking forward to my Real Field Meal for lunch tomorrow already.

I’m not alone at Sulebu tonight. Met a lovely Dutch couple who had arrived a bit before me, and it looks like another couple of people have left their gear here while day hiking. While getting acquainted I repeat my daily post-trail routine. Collect water and firewood. Wash the shoes and trousers to get rid of goat, sheep- and reindeer dung. Get the fire started. Dry today’s wet clothes. Make the bed, refill water tank and snacks and put the feet up high and cold. Another super nice Dutch couple arrived after dinner, and it turned into one of the the best and most social evenings on the trail thus far. Thanks guys! Yet another good day on the trail about to come to an end.

Today’s statistics

  • Total distance hiked: 18.92km
  • Total time: 6:01 hrs
  • Total ascent: 754m
  • Total descent: 740m
  • Max elevation: 1410
  • Today’s favourite item: My 17g Titanium Spork by Light My Fire
  • Today’s crap moment: None
  • Toughest section: Hills and marshlands west of Sletningen. Monotonous landscape most of the hike.
  • Today’s word of wisdom: Mental Strength. Do your mental homework both before you begin your journey but equally importantly do it each morning before you commence each section. Prepare each leg carefully. Set yourself up for success by not mentally labelling a route as easy, in case it turns out to be normal, or even hard. Also; prepare a subject no matter how silly to explore while you hike in case you need to keep your mind busy.
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Gunnar Florus Mountaineer