Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Novafjellet: the never-ending tour

Late last night Jan-Eirik called and we made some hasty plans for an outing today. He had some family obligations before 9am and I had to be at work by 4pm, however this relatively short time frame didn't stop us from conjuring up an overly ambitious plan of enchaining Trangdalsfjellet and Novafjellet.

Objectives for the day: Trangdalsfjellet on the left and Novatind on the right

The tour started with skinning along a military access road, our quick pace induced not only by our ambitious plans, but also the signs we passed telling us that we were in a restricted area.

The first crux of the day came when we attempted to climb through the steep, ice encrusted passage beside an icefall on the way up Trangdalsfjellets south face. With no crampons we conceded that our plan was a little goofy and bailed on the first peak. What followed was a lengthy, wallowing skin around the mountain, gradually gaining altitude only to gradually lose it again to get to Novafjellet. It turns out this tour involves a ridiculous amount of flat and gently undulating terrain. Our intended route of descending the north face of Trangdalsfjellet would have negated most of this flat touring but our bailing only served to lengthen it.

After close to two hours of this flat touring we were glad to reach the final summit slope on Novafjellet. Jan-Eirik kept a steady pace breaking trail whilst I slogged on behind him glancing at my watch and counting down the dwindling time before my shift started at work.

View from the summit towards Harstad- photo from Jan-Eirik

We reached the summit just as the light was fading, with stunning views over the mountains and fjords to the west. Unfortunately the descent was in some of the flattest light conditions I've ever encountered, but the snow was decent and we'd just visited a new summit so complaining seems silly.

10 sec. clip showing the view from the summit.

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