Norwegian Mountains, Oppland
Sn°hetta on foot from Sn°heim, July 4 2009
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Every year from 1970 and up to now (and sometimes several times a year), I have crossed Dovrefjell in a car or on a train - always excited about whether I would get a glimpse of Sn°hetta or not. And if I did, I stared at it until I could see it no more. In that respect, Sn°hetta has been a part of me - nearly all my life. There was something utterly majestic about Dovrefjell and Sn°hetta in particular. I remember feeling small every time I looked towards it, but a part of me must always have felt that I would be up there one day.
That one day was supposed to be a fine day in Aug 2008. But the Sn°heim road was closed due to the Reindeer hunt. I wasn't all that keen on the long walk, nor the risk on meeting angry people with rifles, so I postponed my Sn°hetta visit to the next year.
On July 4 2009, I was on my way from Sunnm°re to Br°nn°ysund, and this time I had done the necessary investigations. The road was open, and anyone with a weapon ought to belong to the Norwegian Army. I had a very good feeling as I drove along the Sn°heim road. I would reach the top of this mountain today. Even if the car should break down along the way! The weather was gorgeous, and this was the first day of my summer vacation. What a great start to it!
The sn°heim parking was crowded, but few seemed to be on the way up the mountain. I couldn't predict the distance to Sn°hetta, but I reckoned I would be up there in 3 hours. After all, the vertical gain would be less than 900 metres. I headed out 12:48pm, and had to follow the road for 1,2km to get onto the mountain trail. I chose the trail on the east side of the lake (by Sn°heim) and discovered that I couldn't - easily - cross the river. To stay dry, I was forced to also pass the next lake before I was able to get to the other side.
It wasn't all that important to do this mountain in a hurry, especially since I've longed to be up here for so many years. But I had still a 600km drive ahead of me, and I would like to reach Br°nn°ysund before midnight. Moreover, Sn°hetta is a plod on rock, and there is a limit to how fun it can be. I targeted a couple of hikers in the distance and decided to make some progress.
I had a good day on the mountain trail, and was indeed making good progress towards - and up the mountain. The views opened up more and more and I was curious about what I could see from up there. Passing 2000m elevation, hikers had to cross a couple of snow fields, but there was (surprisingly) little snow left on the mountain. I expected there to be more.
I reached the top 2:34pm - 1h:47m after heading out. That was most excellent, as now I was way ahead of my "3-hour plan". I stopped a while for pictures and to help a couple with their GPS. A few hikers came in from the west, and they told me they had been on Midttoppen. "Only a 15-minute" walk, they said. So I decided to go there myself.
It took only 13 minutes to Midttoppen, and then I continued towards a viewpoint cairn slightly further west. This spot gave much better views towards Hettpiggen, Vesttoppen and Larstinden. I knew that I would have a hard job, trying to figure out all the mountain tops in the distance. I realised that I would just have to settle for the important ones..
After a nice outing on Midttoppen, I returned to Stortoppen and began my descent 3:35pm. On the way down the mountain, I had some time to reflect on my Sn°hetta experience. The conclusion was that it was just another mountain, really. It was, like with most other mountains, the desire to get there that makes all this walking worth while. It's a long time since I became aware of this fact, but I tend to forget it from time to time. But, of course, it felt satisfying to have been up there. The mountain and I are friends now..
The descent went swift, and I was back at the trailhead 5:05pm. The entire walk had taken 4h:15m, and I was ahead of my "plan" for this mountain. It was good to cool my head in the lake by Sn°heim, and it was even nicer to put the roof in the trunk at get on with a nice drive to Nordland county!
Next report: Holmshatten
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 450D + Canon EF-S 17-85mm IS USM F 4-5.6
(Full size images)
(Images scaled down.
Wide-angle views from Sn°hetta
Zoom views from Sn°hetta
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