Norwegian Mountains, Nordland

Hinnstein and Vardheia, July 22 2007

For Information, maps, trailhead and route descriptions, click HERE.

It was day six..

.. of our holiday week in northern Norway. And while the weather hadn't been all that great, it had still been a good week. My hiking mate Torill and I had climbed Stetind as part of a guided group, and hiked Stefjordnestinden, Mulbukttinden, Sætertinden, and Middagstinden.

Our primary goal, Nona (1012m) on Grytøya, was put on the next time list. This was our final day up north. We had the afternoon flight out of Evenes, so there was sufficient time for a morning walk. The most excellent staff at the Grand Nordic Hotel granted us check-out time at 16:00PM, which meant that we didn't have to hurry. I asked Torill the evening before the hike - Should we visit Elgen (534m) or do a roundtrip across Hinnstein and Vardheia?

Torill's new peak count for 2007 had improved dramatically during our week in northern Norway, and when I saw the digit '2' flashing in her eyes, no further discussion was needed. Given the extended check-out time, I had a vague feeling that there would be room for Elgen too. I heard a Bart Simpson type-of-laughter inside my head. Holymoly, I'm evil..

Hinnstein and Vardheia

The walk was a doddle. We left the Medkila trailhead 09:00AM and was back 11:30AM. It was quite an uneventful, but nice walk. The pace was probably tightly coupled to my idea about visiting Elgen (half an hour drive) as well - plans which Torill didn't know about at the time. I told her - Let me know if the pace is too hard. She responded, in a slightly dry manner; it's hard, but it's fine....

On top of Hinnstein (09:50AM), I informed Torill about my plans for Elgen. The digit '3' was flashing in her eyes, and I knew that the matter had been settled. We left Hinnstein 10:10AM, and after a fairly quick hike between the two tops, we arrived Vardheia 10:40AM. We didn't stay long, and followed odd paths that led us back to the forest path.

It was nice to have been to Harstad's local mountains. Ever since we left Stetinden on Tuesday, we hadn't met any mountain hikers on our way up or down mountains (berry pickers not included). Well, perhaps we hadn't been on the most frequently visited tops, and besides, the weather hadn't been the best, but there was no one on Hinnstein or Vardheia. Wasn't that a bit odd? How popular was that Country Music Festival - somewhere in the district? Was Harstad abandoned? True, one person had signed Vardheia's visitor register *before* we reached Hinnstein, but there was not a hiker anywhere to be seen.

Finally, upon our descent through the forest, we met some hikers. We got a bit "bored" by just walking, so we ran down the forest. A couple was really eyeballing me (Torill was running down an adjacent path). I got a flashback to my Mt. Elbert (highest peak in Colorado) hike in 2001. I ran down the mountain, completely bored from the long mountainside, and a group of hikers frantically blocked my way, wondering what's wrong? what's wrong?

Close to the trailhead, I decided to jump a gate, just as a family of four arrived. Upon landing, I heard the mother tell her kids never to try anything like that, and the father gazed at me with vinegar eyes. It was just as he was telling me to grow up!. But my privilege is that I don't have to...

And well ahead of schedule, we were on our way to Elgen...

Pictures from the July 22 2007 trip

To Hinnstein

1. Hinnstein seen from the highway (238KB) 2. Hinnstein zoomed in (175KB) 3. Medkila trailhead (252KB) 4. A well worn path (440KB) 5. Passing Hinnstein (268KB) 6. Lille Hinnstein (286KB) 7. Almost on Hinnstein (245kB) 8. Torill on Hinnstein (214KB)

Wide-angle view from Hinnstein

9. Wide-angle view from Hinnstein (1179KB)

50mm views from Hinnstein, 2 parts

10. 50mm view from Hinnstein, part 1/2 (901KB) 11. 50mm view from Hinnstein, part 2/2 (1202KB)

A Hinnstein viewpoint

12. View from a Hinnstein viewpoint (564KB) 13. View from a Hinnstein viewpoint (299KB) 14. Downtown Harstad (335KB)

Wide-angle view from Vardheia

15. Wide-angle view from Vardheia (1430KB)

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