Tag Archives: trail

Iconic Hamnøy

Thursday 26 September 2019

Up at 6.0am, sorted the van and down through the tunnel into Hamnøy before breakfast and before sunrise. I parked next to the bridge on some spare land where there were already a number of photographers making preparations for the sunrise shoot on the bridge. I joined them and got myself a spot where I thought I could make a good composition. The weather could not have been better for a sunrise image and as the sun made its way over the horizon it lit up the face of the cliff overlooking the harbour. I was so pleased that my plan had worked out and all the elements had come together as I planned. I am so pleased with the resulting image. Yes I know it’s been done thousands of times before, but this is my interpretation.

Hamnøy sunrise

I then moved down the road a little way and got a reasonable image of the tiny island of Sakrisøy with the rising sun now creating some great contrast and side lighting on the mountain above the village.

Sakrisøy village

The Reinebringen Trail is a short, steep climb up 1560 stone steps to the top of the 448 metre high mountain of the same name. The reason why the steps were built (by a Nepali Sherpa team between 2016 and 2019) was because so many people were trying to climb the very steep mountain side to get the view from the summit. And what a view! It took me around 45 minutes to climb the staircase and when I got to the top I realised why so many people made the effort. It’s estimated that around 800 – 1000 people a day make the climb in summer, but on this day I had around twenty people around me at the summit.

The view from the summit of Reinebringen
A good view of Hamnøy and the Lofoten Islands from the summit of Reinebringen

So, after the serious effort of making the climb up to the summit of Reinebringen and the very, very steep decent of all those steps, I made my way back to the van that was parked a couple of kilometres away. There was some indication in the Aurora forecast that there may be a Northern Lights show tonight so I decided to return to Flakstad Beach where I might get a good view if the Aurora did show.

I set off back to Flakstad via Ramberg and decided to give it one more go at a composition there. I did make one image that I’m actually quite pleased with, so Ramberg is in the bag!

Ramberg Beach

I arrived back at Flakstad just as the sun was going down and managed a couple of shots before it got really dark.

Then I waited. This time I was more or less on my own and it was much colder on this evening. Unfortunately on this particular evening, although the Aurora did show for a little while, it was nowhere near as intense as the previous occasion. Well, some you win and some you lose and so I retired to bed.

It’s still an Aurora Borealis 🙂

Steindalsbreen Glacier

Friday 23 August 2019

Woke up fairly early this morning and sorted the van ready to go  Last night I did some research into a trail that took you to the Steindalsbreen Glacier. The trail is 12 km long there and back and I’m beginning to wonder if I’m up to that length of hiking. Anyway I decided I’d go for it because it looked very photogenic and the weather was playing ball for once.

It was a lovely morning with lots of low cloud drifting through the valleys.

The trail description is as follows –

“The glacier is accessible from the eastern side of the Lyngen Alps. The trailhead begins at the bottom of the valley by route 868 between Oteren and Lyngseidet. Follow the signs to “IMA Tursenter” and park by the Akselstua community hall.

From the car park, follow the dirt road into the valley. The path leads uphill before it flattens out on the last section up to the Steindalshytta cabin. The cabin is about 2.2 kilometres from the beginning of the trail.

Continuing towards the Steindalsbreen glacier, the route is relatively flat until you reach the moraine ridge. From there, it becomes steep before flattening out again and arriving at the base of the glacier.”

Well I did just that and found the trail easily. Its very well marked and mostly easy walking so after about two and a half hours I was there, having spent lots of time taking pictures and videos en route.

When I arrived I did a piece to camera and said I was the only one there. On reviewing the clip I noticed in the background some tiny figures. I hadn’t realised just how big the glacier was and completely lost all sense of scale. So I walked about another kilometre to get to the actual edge of the glacier and met the people I’d spotted, a Norwegian family taking their two young boys on to a glacier for the first time.

Steindalsbreen Glacier
The person is visible just right of centre where the glacier begins to spread out

I had a walk a little way on to the ice and did another piece to camera and then came off and went to look at some tiny icebergs that were in the glacial pool at the front of the ice. I took lots of pictures and had something to eat then decided it was time to head back, though, to be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to the 6km walk back.

Small icebergs form in the icy pool at the front of the glacier
Jokullsarlon it is NOT!

Anyway the return was uneventful but I was glad to see Silver Fox (the van) when I got back.

The route back…

So I had some rest and then started looking for the next place to camp this evening. I hit upon a place called Lullefjellet Naturreservat at Skibotn and off I went.

I got there and joined about half a dozen other vans in what looks like a nice quiet spot, set up the van for the night and after a bit of cataloguing and writing turned in for the night.

To the end of the world and back.

Friday 16 August 2019

This is the FaceBook post I published just before I began the walk . I wanted to remind people that there was a serious reason for me being there and attempting this walk

Well this is it. After 4281 miles and 104hrs 10mins driving, I’m about to start the walk to the furthest point on the European mainland, Knivskjellodden, Finnmark, Norway. It’s about 11 miles there and back and the weather looks good for the day. Here’s to completing my goal. Wish me luck! And please, if you can, make a small contribution to the charity I’m supporting on this project, The Alzheimer’s Society. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ascandinavianadvanture

This way….!

It was a reasonable day weather wise and I set off in good spirits. I was by far not the only person there and I probably saw about fifteen people on the walk at sometime or other.

Even at the end of the world you’re never alone!

The path is fairly level for most of the way and reminded me of the Lyke Wake Walk across the North Yorkshire Moors, but not quite as muddy.

The path is reasonably well marked by poles around eight feet high. The idea is that you walk to one pole then look for the next pole in the distance and walk to that. It seems to work.

There were many reindeer grazing on the moorland around me.

After about four miles you get to the coast and descend a short but fairly steep hill on to the beach. The path then turns north and follows the coast toward the end of the peninsular.

Down to the beach, not far now.

By now I was getting a bit tired and I knew I had to go back by the same route. As I got down to the beach, I looked to my right and there was North Cape – south of my posiiton. I knew it couldn’t be far now. I could clearly see the dome of the North Cape Centre and oh, how forbidding those cliffs looked. They had been shrouded in fog when I’d been there a couple of days before.

I continued on and suddenly there it was – the marker point for the most northerly point on the European mainland. Knivskjelodden.

Knivskjellodden

I was elated. I’d done it. There were half a dozen people already there including a Swiss couple who agreed to take my photograph in the obligatory pose on top of the marker point.

I’ve done it!!

One more task to complete the project and that was to sign the registration book that’s kept at the point. That would entitle me to a certificate saying that I’d actually been to Knivskjellodden

I had a chat with the Swiss couple. He was an IT consultant. He was wearing a kilt because, he said it was warm and really comfortable for walking in. He was also mad about Scotland and visited as often as possible.

The kilt wearing Swiss IT consultant

So now it was time to begin the walk back to the van, about 5 miles away. Mission accomplished.

The walk back was uneventful but quite exhausting. It occurred to me that sometimes I forget how old I am! But I’m determined to keep on keeping on 🙂

Walking back to the Silver Fox