Patagonia – baby Lotta’s 7 week backpacking adventure (part 1)

“As soon as I saw you I knew a grand adventure was about to happen.” ― A.A. Milne

It’s all so quiet in the blogosphere, when you’re busy living. Blogging has become low on the priority ladder, due to being a full-time dad and a timeconsuming career change to teaching. Nevertheless I hope I will find some time to add some posts about the adventures we do/did with Lotta, who is almost 2 years old at the time of writing. I’m lagging behind reports of quite a pile of longer adventures: Patagonia (austral summer 2016), Vosges (spring 2016), Lapland (summer 2016), Mallorca (winter 2016), Picos de Europa (spring 2017), Canadian Rockies (summer 2017), Iceland (summer 2017)… Well, we’ll see how fast/slow the fifo runs out.

When our baby girl was 20 weeks old we took her on a 45-days adventure to south-central Patagonia. In a series of 3 posts I will give a pictorial insight in the adventurous trip we took in february-march 2016.

Hang on there. Pic from day 38 on the 6-week adventure. Fitz Roy range. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Santa Cruz. Patagonia. Argentina.

Hang on there. Pic from day 40 on the 6-week adventure. Fitz Roy range. Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Santa Cruz. Patagonia. Argentina.

Babies are so flexible. All they need is love, warmth and breastfeeding. Keep them close to the body and slow down your adventure. Anything is possible. In my first post on the Patagonia trip I will not add much chatter. In the next update, I’ll give some more logistical insights. Here is part 1 of the pictorial trip report.

A breastfeeding rest after a climb out of Pampa Linda. Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Rio Negro. Patagonia. Argentina.

A breastfeeding rest after a climb out of Pampa Linda. Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. Rio Negro. Patagonia. Argentina.

For a multiday trek, mommy carried Lotta in a flexible swing on the chest. Close contact is possible. Mommy carries a 8-9kg backpack, containing sleeping bags, clothes and baby stuff.

Tomamos curanto en Marita Estrella. Chaitén. Region de los Lagos. Patagonia. Chile.


Camping under the Milky Way. Parque Pumalin. Region de los Lagos. Patagonia. Chile.


I’ll stop my first post on Patagonia here, because tomorrow we leave for a new 6-week adventure to the Canadian Rockies and Iceland. The second post you might expect by the end of the summer! Happy adventures.

For those of interest you can follow our Delorme sattelite beacon updates by clicking on the following map!

Live updates from Lotta on adventure!

Live updates from Lotta on adventure!

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Baby Lotta goes backpacking in Patagonia – video

Everything you can imagine is real. – Picasso

It’s been a while. Parenting. Time consuming. Free moments are spend together and outdoors. Our girl is 7 months young now. She grows on sight. We’re enjoying the best times of our lives so far. When she was 20 weeks old, we took her on a extremely rewarding backcountry backpacking trip into Chilean and Argentine Patagonia. 45 days. Ice-caked mountains, evergreen virgin rainforrests, eye-blurring blue and green rivers, golden rolling pampa, abundant wildlife, rare humans, vitamin D spitting sun, howling wind, freshes ever air and senses running overtime. Contrary to gut feeling, it turned our baby way more relaxed then when put between four walls.

This is the video impression which will consume 6 minutes of your life.

A more extensive report in word and photos might follow somewhere in time.

Scree descent after summiting active volcano Chaitén, Parque Pumalin, Palena province, Patagonia, Chile

Scree descent after summiting active volcano Chaitén, Parque Pumalin, Palena province, Patagonia, Chile. March 10th, 2016.

This is your life! Do what you love and do it often.

Nepal – why your visit is paramount #VisitNepalAutumn2015

Nepal’s devastating earthquakes, tremors and aftershocks killed over 8000 people and injured over 100.000 people, throwing down this overwhelmingly beautiful, but extremely poor country down the misery hole. In the immediate wake of this natural disaster, international relief has been coming in with countries, ngo’s and indivuduals rushing to stem the wounds.

Children of Singati Bazar welcome us during our 2012 GHT trek. The village has been severely hit by the quake now with only few survivors. Are thoughts are with the hospitable people of the whole valley we passed through. Children of Singati Bazar welcome us during our 2012 GHT trek. The village has been severely hit by the quake now with only few survivors. Are thoughts are with all the hospitable people of the whole valley we passed through on the way to Rolwaling.

Scantily, more news of the devastation intruded our lives through media and immedialtly a lot of people, especially those with a weakness for the country, felt the urge to do something. They end up fundraising or donating money through one of the many organisations active in Nepal. This help has been paramount in the immediate wake for the country but when international journalists and first relief workers left the country, attention slacked. For many not-involved ,it will be a sad memory to be confronted with when 2015 will be rear-mirrored during numerous annual reviews. And yes there is some good news, with kids returning to school, but international help stays essential with monsoon closing in soon.

Nepal after the quake. Will tourists ever return? Nepal after the quake. Will tourists ever return?

International media coverage of the quake made it sound like the whole of Nepal was destroyed, and images of collapsed buildings and old heritage sites in Kathmandu made the headlines. Media failed to report that 80 per cent of Kathmandu’s houses were still intact, the airport was open, and that only 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts were severely affected. Nepali people are extremely resilient, and altough (international) help will stay necessary for quite some time, Nepal will overcome.

All historical buildings in this picture I took on Kathmandu's Durbar Square, survived the quake! All historical buildings in this picture I took on Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, survived the quake!

If you should believe media coverage, there is nothing left of historical buildings in Kathmandu worth visiting, Natioanal Geographic checked out What’s Rubble, What’s Still Standing. Nepali government is planning to reopen historical sites in and around Kathmandu from the 15th of June onwards.

We have received a lot of signs of life from Nepali people we met through our autumn 2012 great himalaya trail adventure. Even though some of our friends live in makeshift shelters, all of them report normal life picked up fast after first relief. Banks, shops and 90% of hotels are open. Busses are operating. Domestic flights serve all corners of the country. People that fled Kathamndu are returning to their homes, starting to rebuild and pick up their lives.

Nepal has many hidden corners that are open to visitors and that weren't affected by the quake. Humla. West-Nepal. Great Himalaya Trail Nepal has many hidden corners that are open to visitors and that weren’t affected by the quake. Humla. West-Nepal. Great Himalaya Trail

After the earthquake, all tourists fled the country and upcoming trips were cancelled for May and this fall. Now Thamel looks deserted, trekking gear in the numerous shops is gathering even more dust. Trekking routes are completely abandoned, and even Pokhara (Annapurna), where there wasn’t much damage, is largely empty.

#visitnepalautumn2015

Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) has called upon the concerned government authorities, who warn against visits to Nepal,  to step up measures for ensuring tourism activities to resume quickly. Therefore, we can’t encourage enough travelers and trekkers to come back to Nepal, the sooner the better. Tourism is Nepal’s most income generating sector. Nepal is a poor country and without your visit all development work from last decade will be shaked to dust.

The government has already formed a Tourism Recovery Committee in partnership with Hotel Association Nepal and Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) to repair damaged trekking routes, heritage sites and promote safe tourism destinations. All trekking routes will be assesed by TAAN and will be declared open/closed in the upcoming weeks. So please check their website for live reports.

The west of Nepal was not touched by the quake! Upper Mustang, Humla and Dolpa, where the summer months of july/august/september are an excellent time for trekking! These areas lie in the rain shadow of the main Himalayan range and are therefore not affected by the monsoon. The west of Nepal was not touched by the quake! Upper Mustang, Humla and Dolpa, where the summer months of july/august/september are an excellent time for trekking! These areas lie in the rain shadow of the main Himalayan range and are therefore not affected by the monsoon.

There are hundreds of trekking routes untouched by the quake where people are really hoping you to come visit. Spend your money here and help them raise their own economy. Nepal has 2 distinct trekking seasons, of which October and November are the most popular trekking months. During this time, chances are high for clear skies and great mountain views. People are hesitant to come trekking, because they expect there will be more avalanches and landslides. But these are not new in mountains, they were there before the quake and more will follow. 95% of treks in Nepal, even those going really high up in the mountains, don’t go further then Base Camp of the greater peaks. Climbers in those base camps were hit by the quake, but almost no trekking tourists have been harmed.

Nepali people really hope tourists are going to return this year! Gokyo Ri. Solo Khumbu. Nepal.

Nepali people really hope tourists are going to return this year! Gokyo Ri. Solo Khumbu. Nepal.

The popular Langtang Trekking might not be possible because the village has been destroyed completely. Annapurna region, for example has remained almost untouched. Tea houses open and Sherpas are confident that they can still lead groups to Everest Base Camp and other trekking routes as well. We really encourage you to come for trekking. We know good guides whom we can put you directly in contact with to do all trekking upcoming summer months and for the fall. Government has not stopped giving permits. Hence come and experience adventure!

Be open however, that homes and lives have been devastated in many areas and it will take many years to fully rebuild some communities. Many of the regions affected need income from tourism, either through direct sales of services and products or employment of porters and trekking staff. If you cancel your booking or defer your trip to Nepal, you will only be making the impact of the earthquake worse for many families. Please do not cancel any trips scheduled after the monsoon (September 2015 onwards)… your contribution to employment and the general economy is vital to the rebuild of Nepal. (Robin Boustead, pioneer of the Great Himalaya Trail Nepal)

Nepal is all about high mountains, but it has also numerous trekking routes in the hilly, lush and vivid mountains at the foot of the Himalaya, where trekking from village to village is an experience of a lifetime. Greath Himalaya Low or Cultural Route.

Nepal is all about high mountains, but it has also numerous trekking routes in the hilly, lush and vivid mountains at the foot of the Himalaya, where trekking from village to village is an experience of a lifetime. Greath Himalaya Low or Cultural Route.

Suggestions for you to trek (contact us for more trip ideas!!)

– 95% of the Great Himalaya Trail lower route (now has a free guidebook for download)
Dolpo-region
Kanchenjunga
– …

Is Nepal still safe for visiting after the quake? Read it here!

Please tag your visit with #VisitNepalAutumn2015

Til fots i fjellet (walking in the mountains)

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ― Marcel Proust

Black Saturday! Record traffic jams!” – howls the radio towards escapees for the French Riviera and Spanish costas. I almost fall asleep cruisin’ behind the wheel on our 1100km ride to Larvik, Denmark’s ferry harbour for Sweden and Norway. Everyday Robots on endless repeat. Clichés reign. Scandinavia isn’t beach dwellers dada.

The mountains are calling and I must go (J. Muir). Bivaouc along Langvatnet. Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

The mountains are calling and I must go (J. Muir).
Bivaouc along Langvatnet.
Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

We had a great 4 week thru-hike loop prepared for arctic Norway and Sweden looping from Bodø (Norway) to Ammarnäs (Sweden) and back to Mosjøen (Norway) through some promising wild country. Personal loss wiped those plans of the table. Trip cancelled. Black summer.

““When you feel life at crossroads, you need higher perspective view.” ― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

““When you feel life at crossroads, you need higher perspective view.” ― Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut

But as days and weeks passed by, we knew comfort would eventually steer us back into the mountains. We filled up the trunk with gear and food and travelled north. No plans. No maps. Zero expectations.

Tinnsjå (Tinnsjø, Lake Tinn) is one of the largest lakes in Norway, and one of the deepest (490m!) in Europe. Telemark county. Norway.

Tinnsjå (Tinnsjø, Lake Tinn) is one of the largest lakes in Norway, and one of the deepest (490m!) in Europe. Telemark county. Norway.

We knew southern Norway possesses limitless oportunities for spectacular mountain hiking and harbours accesible worldclass fjords. We soon enjoyed Scandinvian’s mild 2k14 summer . Eat. Sleep. Hike. A hassle free metronome.

The no plan trick was a revelation. Not surprisingly our camera was filled with happy memories from backpacking hikes in Hardangervidda, Sunnmøre , Reinheimen, Rondane and Jotunheimen.

“The future depends on what you do today.” Damn right Gandhi!

For those with 5 minutes to waste, we would like to invite you to hit play on our holiday video.

After a 800m climb up from the Hardangerfjord at sea level we finally arrive on the plateau. Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

After a 800m climb up from the Hardangerfjord at sea level we finally arrive on the plateau.
 
Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

The Hardangerfjord is the third longest fjord in the world, and the second longest fjord in Norway. The fjord stretches 179 kilometres (111 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean into the mountainous interior of Norway along the Hardangervidda plateau. The innermost point of the fjord reaches the town of Odda. The glaciers from the Folgefonna National Park almost drop into sea here.

The Hardangerfjord is the third longest fjord in the world, and the second longest fjord in Norway. The fjord stretches 179 kilometres (111 mi) from the Atlantic Ocean into the mountainous interior of Norway along the Hardangervidda plateau. The innermost point of the fjord reaches the town of Odda.
 
The glaciers from the Folgefonna National Park almost drop into sea here.

Bivaouc on the edge of the Hardangervidda plateau, high above the Hardanger fjord. The plateau is the largest peneplain (eroded plain) in Europe, covering an area of about 6,500 km2 (2,500 sq mi) at an average elevation of 1,100 m (3,500 ft).

Bivaouc on the edge of the Hardangervidda plateau, high above the Hardanger fjord. The plateau is the largest peneplain (eroded plain) in Europe, covering an area of about 6,500 km2 (2,500 sq mi) at an average elevation of 1,100 m (3,500 ft).

Inhaling the day's last rays of light. The Oooknest from our faded MSR Twing Tarp perfectly fits under the MLD Trailstar (with some minor adaptions). Contrary to the expected we met little flying critters. Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

Inhaling the day’s last rays of light. The Oooknest from our faded MSR Twing Tarp perfectly fits under the MLD Trailstar (with some minor adaptions). Contrary to the expected we met little flying critters.
 
Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

The varying climate of the plateau has a marked effect on the flora, which is richer on the wetter west side than in the drier east; much of the plateau is covered by coarse grasses, mosses (especially sphagnum) and lichens. Hardangervidda NP.

The varying climate of the plateau has a marked effect on the flora, which is richer on the wetter west side than in the drier east; much of the plateau is covered by coarse grasses, mosses (especially sphagnum) and lichens.
 
Hardangervidda NP.

The landscape of the Hardangervidda is characterised by barren, treeless moorland interrupted by numerous pools, lakes, rivers and streams. Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

The landscape of the Hardangervidda is characterised by barren, treeless moorland interrupted by numerous pools, lakes, rivers and streams.
 
Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

Hardangervidda National Park, at 3,422 square kilometers, is Norway's largest national park. It has the southernmost stock of several arctic animals and plants. Its wild reindeer herds are among the largest in the world. We didn't met any. Probably something to do with the fact I should keep quiet a bit more often...

Hardangervidda National Park, at 3,422 square kilometers, is Norway’s largest national park. It has the southernmost stock of several arctic animals and plants. Its wild reindeer herds are among the largest in the world. We didn’t met any. Probably something to do with the fact I should keep quiet a bit more often…

“You'll never find a rainbow if you're looking down”  ― Charles Chaplin

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down”
― Charles Chaplin

Walk. Slip. Stand. Try to walk again. Coccyx and slippery slab. No friends. Hardangervidda NP.

Walk. Slip. Stand. Try to walk again. Coccyx and slippery slab. No friends. Hardangervidda NP.

How can you resist the enchantingly microforrest around your toes. Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

How can you resist the enchantingly microforrest around your toes. Hardangervidda NP. Norway.

Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in continental Europe. It is situated in Sogn og Fjordane county in Western Norway. You can drive through it! Try it now before rock takes over blue ice.

Jostedalsbreen is the largest glacier in continental Europe. It is situated in Sogn og Fjordane county in Western Norway. You can drive through it! Try it now before rock takes over blue ice.

Branches of the Jostedalsbreen glacier reach down into the valleys. The glacier is maintained by the high snowfall rates in the region, not the cold temperatures. This means the glacier has high melting rates in its snouts. The Jostedalsbreen has around 50 glacier arms such as the pictured Briksdalsbreen near Olden.

Branches of the Jostedalsbreen glacier reach down into the valleys. The glacier is maintained by the high snowfall rates in the region, not the cold temperatures. This means the glacier has high melting rates in its snouts. The Jostedalsbreen has around 50 glacier arms such as the pictured Briksdalsbreen near Olden.

Awaiting friendly weahter in the comfy Patchellhytta. Sunnmøre Alps. Ålesund-Sunnmøre Turistforening.

Awaiting friendly weahter in the comfy Patchellhytta. Sunnmøre Alps. Ålesund-Sunnmøre Turistforening.

Sunnmøre is the southern part of the county “Møre og Romsdal” near the Art Nouveau sea harbour of Ålesund on the west coast. of Norway  It has numerous dramatic steep mountains fringing the fjords. These starkly beautiful region is often overlook by foreing mountain dwellers.

Sunnmøre is the southern part of the county “Møre og Romsdal” near the Art Nouveau sea harbour of Ålesund on the west coast. of Norway It has numerous dramatic steep mountains fringing the fjords. These starkly beautiful region is often overlook by foreing mountain dwellers.

The curious case of the short-tailed weasel running in franzy over rock and fjell. On average, males measure 187–325 mm (7.4–12.8 in) in body length, while females measure 170–270 mm (6.7–10.6 in). To encounter a weasel when setting out for a journey was considered bad luck, but one could avert this by greeting the stoat as a neighbour, which I gladly did. A couple of hours later we climbed on the summit of Slogen, once desribed as the one of the proudest mountains in Europe.

The curious case of the short-tailed weasel running in franzy over rock and fjell. On average, males measure 187–325 mm (7.4–12.8 in) in body length, while females measure 170–270 mm (6.7–10.6 in). To encounter a weasel when setting out for a journey was considered bad luck, but one could avert this by greeting the stoat as a neighbour, which I gladly did. A couple of hours later we climbed on the summit of Slogen, once desribed as the one of the proudest mountains in Europe.

Slogen is a mountain rising up from Hjørundfjorden. Even though it is not among the highest peaks in Norway, the 1,564-metre (5,131 ft) tall mountain is rated among the top ten mountain walks in Norway. This is largely due to its beauty, view, and the fact that it's rising directly from the fjord. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Slogen is a mountain rising up from Hjørundfjorden. Even though it is not among the highest peaks in Norway, the 1,564-metre (5,131 ft) tall mountain is rated among the top ten mountain walks in Norway. This is largely due to its beauty, view, and the fact that it’s rising directly from the fjord. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Peering one vertical mile down into  Hjørundfjorden from the summit of 1,564-metre (5,131 ft) tall Slogen. A thrilling sight!

Peering one vertical mile down into Hjørundfjorden from the summit of 1,564-metre (5,131 ft) tall Slogen. A thrilling sight!

Isvatnet and Storevatnet lakes in the Langeseter valley with the pyramid Brekketinden summit rising above. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Isvatnet and Storevatnet lakes in the Langeseter valley with the pyramid Brekketinden summit rising above. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Au soleil, sous la pluie, à midi ou à minuit il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées.

Au soleil, sous la pluie,
à midi ou à minuit
il y a tout ce que vous voulez
aux Champs-Élysées.

Climb towards the alpine crossing between Gullmorebreen and Gullmoredalsvatnet. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Climb towards the alpine crossing between Gullmorebreen and Gullmoredalsvatnet. Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Bypassing the Gullmorbreen glacier right underneath Brekketindane (1578m). Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

Bypassing the Gullmorbreen glacier right underneath Brekketindane (1578m). Sunnmøre Alps. Norway.

By this way we sincerely want to thank the Ålesund-Sunnmøre Turistforening for building and maintaining the Velleseter hytte. Probably the cosiest hytte in Southern Norway. Takk!

By this way we sincerely want to thank the Ålesund-Sunnmøre Turistforening for building and maintaining the Velleseter hytte. Probably the cosiest hytte in Southern Norway. Takk!

Happy backpacker with a key! Velleseter hytte. Sunnmøre Alps.

Happy backpacker with a key! Velleseter hytte. Sunnmøre Alps.

Crossing into Liadalen under a ray of sun. Sunnmøre Alps.

Crossing into Liadalen under a ray of sun. Sunnmøre Alps.

Ready for the 800m steep dive into the Norangsdalen. Sunnmøre Alps.

Ready for the 800m steep dive into the Norangsdalen. Sunnmøre Alps.

Geirangerfjord. A UNESCO World Heritage site. This fjord is surrounded by the steepest and, one is almost tempted to say, the most preposterous mountains on the entire west coast. It is very narrow and has no habitable shore area, for the precipitous heights rise in sheer and rugged strata almost straight out of the water. Foaming waterfalls plunge into the fjord from jagged peaks. Møre og Romsdal county, Norway.

Geirangerfjord. A UNESCO World Heritage site. This fjord is surrounded by the steepest and, one is almost tempted to say, the most preposterous mountains on the entire west coast. It is very narrow and has no habitable shore area, for the precipitous heights rise in sheer and rugged strata almost straight out of the water. Foaming waterfalls plunge into the fjord from jagged peaks. Møre og Romsdal county, Norway.

The Troll Wall (Trollveggen) is the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, about 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) from its base to the summit of its highest point. At its steepest, the summit ridge overhangs the base of the wall by nearly 50 metres (160 ft). The Troll Wall has been a prestigious goal for climbers and base jumpers alike. Carl Boenish, the “father” of base jumping, was killed on the Troll Wall in 1984 shortly after setting the world record for the highest base jump in history. Base jumping from Troll Wall has been illegal since 1986, altough there are still illegal jumps almost every day. Basejumping. Nah. Let’s fish.

Gone for fishing on a fresh summer evening. Ulvådalsvatnet lake. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Gone for fishing on a fresh summer evening.. Ulvådalsvatnet lake. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Hiking up to Hogtunga leaving Ulvådalsvatnet lake behind. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Hiking up to Hogtunga leaving Ulvådalsvatnet lake behind. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Rain on me! Enjoying prime summer weather in the Norwegian mountains. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Rain on me! Enjoying prime summer weather in the Norwegian mountains. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Incredible sollitude in the Tafjordfjellene mountains of Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Incredible sollitude in the Tafjordfjellene mountains of Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Who needs the fish? Nodre Botvatnet. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Who needs the fish? Nodre Botvatnet. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

If there ain't no fish to bite then let them pancakes taste. Pyttbua. Tafjordfjellene. Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

If there ain’t no fish to bite then let them pancakes taste. Pyttbua. Tafjordfjellene.
 
Reinheimen National Park. Oppland. Norway.

Real nice biking into Rondane NP on a rainy day. Hedmark and Oppland, Norway

Real nice biking into Rondane NP on a rainy day. Hedmark and Oppland, Norway

Rondane is a typical high mountain area, with large plateaus and a total of ten peaks above 2,000 m (6,560 ft). The highest point is Rondeslottet (“The Rondane Castle”) at an altitude of 2,178 m (7,146 ft). The lowest point is just below the tree line, which is approximately 1,000 to 1,100 m (about 3,300 to 3,600 ft) above sea level. The climate is mild but relatively arid.

Mountain arteries. Rondane NP. Norway.

Mountain arteries. Rondane NP. Norway.

Apart from the White Birch trees of the lower areas, the soil and rocks are covered by heather and lichen, since they lack nutrients. Rondane NP. Norway.

Apart from the White Birch trees of the lower areas, the soil and rocks are covered by heather and lichen, since they lack nutrients.
 
Rondane NP. Norway.

Morning view on Gjende lake. Jotunheimen (English: The Home of the Giants) is a mountainous area of roughly 3,500 km²  in southern Norway and is part of the long range known as the Scandinavian Mountains. The 29 highest mountains in Norway are all in Jotunheimen, including the very highest - Galdhøpiggen (2469 m).

Morning view on Gjende lake. Jotunheimen (English: The Home of the Giants) is a mountainous area of roughly 3,500 km² in southern Norway and is part of the long range known as the Scandinavian Mountains. The 29 highest mountains in Norway are all in Jotunheimen, including the very highest – Galdhøpiggen (2469 m).

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”  ― John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”
― John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

Jotunheimen contains Jotunheimen National Park, which was established in 1980 and covers an area of 1,151 km². Jotunheimen is very popular with hikers and climbers, and the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association maintains a number of mountain lodges in the area, as well as marked trails that run between the lodges and others that run up to some of the peaks.

Jotunheimen contains Jotunheimen National Park, which was established in 1980 and covers an area of 1,151 km². Jotunheimen is very popular with hikers and climbers, and the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association maintains a number of mountain lodges in the area, as well as marked trails that run between the lodges and others that run up to some of the peaks.

The walk over Besseggen ridge  is one of the most popular mountain hikes in Norway. About 30,000 people walk this trip each year. From Besseggen there is a great view over azure Gjende (glacial) and dark Bessvatnet lake. Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

The walk over Besseggen ridge is one of the most popular mountain hikes in Norway. About 30,000 people walk this trip each year. From Besseggen there is a great view over azure Gjende (glacial) and dark Bessvatnet lake.
 
Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

Rocks rock!  Jotunheimen NP.

Rocks rock! Jotunheimen NP.

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia). Jotunheimen NP.

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia). Jotunheimen NP.

We hike because why wouldn't we? Jotunheimen NP.

We hike because why wouldn’t we? Jotunheimen NP.

A painter's dream. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

A painter’s dream. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

Flares from aurora borealis in the Norhern starsky. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

Flares from aurora borealis in the Norhern starsky. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

Nothing beats a coffee in the morning sun under the tarp. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

Nothing beats a coffee in the morning sun under the tarp. Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP. Norway.

Gjendebu is the oldest cabin of the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT). The cabin lies 995 metres above sea level, by the western end of the lake Gjende, central in Jotunheimen. It is accessible by hiking along marked trails, or by boat over Gjende from Gjendesheim. The cabin was built in 1871 and was at that time 45 m² and with 12 beds, today there are 119 beds.

Gjendebu is the oldest cabin of the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT). The cabin lies 995 metres above sea level, by the western end of the lake Gjende, central in Jotunheimen. It is accessible by hiking along marked trails, or by boat over Gjende from Gjendesheim. The cabin was built in 1871 and was at that time 45 m² and with 12 beds, today there are 119 beds.

Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

Memerutunga. Jotunheimen NP.

Around 400km of marked hiking trails and routes can be found in Jotunheimen. They are maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association which marks cairns and rocks with the famous red T.

Around 400km of marked hiking trails and routes can be found in Jotunheimen. They are maintained by the Norwegian Trekking Association which marks cairns and rocks with the famous red T.

Room with a view. Langvatnet. Jotuheimen NP.

Room with a view. Langvatnet. Jotuheimen NP.

Urdadola runs into Langvatnet. Dusk. Jotunheimen NP.

Urdadola runs into Langvatnet. Dusk. Jotunheimen NP.

Despite it's moderate altitude in comparison with other mountain ranges, northern latitude give Jotunheimen typical high alpine climate. Gulf stream bring lots of precipitation that is released especially on the western parts of Jotunheimen. Rapid weather changes are possible and winter conditions are not impossible even in the middle of summer. Jotunheimen NP.

Despite it’s moderate altitude in comparison with other mountain ranges, northern latitude give Jotunheimen typical high alpine climate. Gulf stream bring lots of precipitation that is released especially on the western parts of Jotunheimen. Rapid weather changes are possible and winter conditions are not impossible even in the middle of summer.
 
Jotunheimen NP.

Snoholtinden as seen from Olavsbu, Jotunheimen NP.

Snoholtinden as seen from Olavsbu, Jotunheimen NP.

It's been a while since the last blogpost so thanks a lot for your patience.

It’s been a while since the last blogpost so thanks a lot for your patience.

We need to step out once in a while…

Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.M. Corleone

Back from the gap year. We have to adapt to our new but well-known environment. We observe. Everybody rushes. Ok, not everybody. Most of us. Ha! I’ll never ever be my former self again! I ain’t no fool! Not even 3 months later and it’s all down the gutter. We live a rat’s race. Face it. We’re sucked in again. Damn!

Mont Blanc massif as seen from Col d'Anterne (2257m). Haute-Savoie. France.

Mont Blanc massif as seen from Col d’Anterne (2257m). Haute-Savoie. France.

I knew we ran that race, but didn’t realize. I didn’t understand. Now I do. By taking distance it all became clear. I reckon. How important it is to step out once in a while. To breathe again. To take distance. To observ.

Following fresh Chamois footsteps into Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Following fresh Chamois footsteps into Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Last week of October. A last minute trip with little or no preperation. Time to let the beast set free. We bite a piece out of our oven fresh Pain au Chocolat while we gaze in the sun. The air crackles in the valley floor of Le Grand Massif. Kids on bikes in shirts and shorts race by. Autumn or even Winter is the last thing on our mind. We buckle up our backpack. Up it is. Into Réserve naturelle Sixt-Passy. It feels like summer has just began.

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We had the vague idea of backpacking the tour des aiguilles rouges, with an aproach from Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval instead of the posh Chamonix. But as always we’re flexible.

 Shoulder season footwear. What works for us in snow when it's not extreme cold? Trailrunners, gore-tex socks, minimalistic gaiters and lightweight rain pants.

Shoulder season footwear. What works for us in snow when it’s not extreme cold? Trailrunners, gore-tex socks, minimalistic gaiters and lightweight rain pants.

A predicted cold front ruins indian summer on our first night. Change of route became inevitable. Costume switch. All white and foggy. It’s magic. We traverse in the snow towards the Anterne lake and it’s namesake col. Mountain extravaganza. The Mont Blanc massif plays hide and seek. We’re sucked in. This is my home. No rats here…

Alpine ibex. Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Alpine ibex. Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Snug in summer outfit. Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Snug in summer outfit. Réserve naturelle de Passy. Haute-Savoie. France.

Sh*t with a view. Summit of Mont Blanc (4810m) visible from the pit toilet at Cabane de Willy. Réserve naturelle des Aguilles Rouges. Haute-Savoie. France.

Sh*t with a view. Summit of Mont Blanc (4810m) visible from the pit toilet at Cabane de Willy. Réserve naturelle des Aguilles Rouges. Haute-Savoie. France.

Melting in the sun. Off to Col du Brévent. Haute-Savoie. France.

Melting in the sun. Off to Col du Brévent. Haute-Savoie. France.

Aguille Verte (4122m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Aguille Verte (4122m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Ready for the freezer. Aguille du Tour (3529m), Aguille Verte (4122m) and Les Drus (3754m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Ready for the freezer. Aguille du Tour (3529m), Aguille Verte (4122m) and Les Drus (3754m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Alpenglow on Aguille Verte (4122m) and Les Drus (3754m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Alpenglow on Aguille Verte (4122m) and Les Drus (3754m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Le Lac Blanc. Aguille Verte (4122m),  Les Drus (3754m) and Les Grandes Jorasses (4208m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Le Lac Blanc. Aguille Verte (4122m), Les Drus (3754m) and Les Grandes Jorasses (4208m). Massif du Mont Blanc. Haute-Savoie. France.

Indian summer in the Réserve naturelle des Aiguilles Rouges. Glacier du Tour fills the horizon. Haute-Savoie. France.

Indian summer in the Réserve naturelle des Aiguilles Rouges. Glacier du Tour fills the horizon. Haute-Savoie. France.

 European larch turns the Alps into painter's dreams. Vallée de Chamonix. Haute-Savoie. France.

European larch turns the Alps into painter’s dreams. Vallée de Chamonix. Haute-Savoie. France.

Autumn glow. Icy Mont Blanc (4810m). Haute-Savoie. France.

Autumn glow. Icy Mont Blanc (4810m). Haute-Savoie. France.

Rochers des Fiz. Réserve naturelle Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Haute-Savoie. France.

Rochers des Fiz. Réserve naturelle Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Haute-Savoie. France.

Rock faces rock!

Rock faces rock!

Cascade de Sauffaz. Réserve naturelle Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Haute-Savoie. France.

Cascade de Sauffaz. Réserve naturelle Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval. Haute-Savoie. France.