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It was not the plan to end up on Gullfjellet this magnificient late February Sunday. Earlier in the day, I drove to Vaksdal and headed up towards Jamnasåta. I had been looking forward to a long ski-trip across Gløvret and Storafjell, and descend down Herfensdalen. The snow was deep, but someone had been up here and left precious tracks in the snow. I was in the upper forest below Jamnasåta when the tracks ended. Skiing in the forest was impossible, and the snow reached my hips. I would be exhausted before the ski-trip could begin. I turned back around and drove to Gullfjellet.
The Osavatn trailhead was packed full of cars. I was lucky to find a spot near the fee booth. I watched the crowds take the "trade route" towards Redningshytten. I wanted a bit more solitude and headed up the Austrerinden ridge 12:45PM. This was not the place to find solitude. I passed approx. 20 people on the way upwards and found another 10 people on the summit (808m), which I reached 13:35PM. I spent some time and enjoyed the tremendous weather. For the first time in 2004, the forecast was SUN (and no mixed clouds) on the western coast of Norway. Skiing down to Redningshytten wasn't as fun as it was 28 days ago. The crust was hard and icy.
I departed Redningshytten 14:00PM and felt a bit tired. The Vaksdal "endeavour" had taken some strengths away. Still, I was able to keep a good pace and seemed to be en route to reaching Gullfjellstoppen (987m) within the hour. Near the summit, I met my good friend Petter, who was testing his new Telemark equipment. After a pleasant chat, I reached the summit 15:15PM. I left 10 minutes later and had a great ride down to the trailhead, which I reached 16:20PM.
I felt bad for Troll who had been home all day. A neighbour would stop by and let him out, but it was apparent that I had to take him to Ulriken (605m) when I got back home. Troll was in hyper-mode when he realized that he had a good walk coming up. He kept a pace up the mountain that almost killed me. I have been up to Ulriken 500-600 times the last 5 years, but never had to kneel on top. I thought I was going to faint. I was that tired. A minute later, I recovered and told the (very confused) dog that we could advance to the tower restaurant. We reached the summit 17:35PM, 2:20 after standing on top of Gullfjellstoppen. Quite a day.
We had taken the Langriden ridge upwards and went down Lægdene. This route was one long slide and at the bottom of the hill I had cramps in both legs. Back at the house, I laid down in the hallway and didn't move for 25 minutes. The dog thought I had died, and was more confused than ever. I hate dogs licking my face, but right there and then I simply didn't care. It was a long day, with a total of 1750 vertical meters.
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Pictures from Vaksdal earlier in the day
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