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Day 3, Apr 29 2007: Across the glacier
Departure from our base-camp west of Brenibba was scheduled to 08:00AM. We were slightly less slow than the previous day, and were on our way 08:15AM. Clouds were moving in from the north, but Høgste Breakulen was sunny. Would this be a grey day? In any case, there was no wind, and in Jostedalsbreen terms, this was GOOD weather.
We skied across a dome (approx. 1905m) and headed down to the foot of Kjenndalskruna (1830m). Some of us wanted to visit this cool top, and by 10:20AM, this nice top was in the bag. The view towards lake Lovatnet was every photographer's wet dream.
Back down at the group, the guide decided that we would pass Høgste Breakulen and Kvitekoll to the north, in order to save distance and time. We passed Høgste Breakulen on the 1840m contour and stopped for lunch below Kvitekoll. The clouds were long gone by now, and it was yet another hot and brilliant day "on top of Norway".
After lunch, we headed up to Ramnane, passed to the north, and continued across the 1874m snowdome. The GPS reported 1874m at the highest point we passed, even if we were more than 1Km northwest of point 1874m on the map. Then followed a long descent to Bings Gryte - the most narrow point on the glacier route.
We had now begun discussing where to put up camp. The guide said that Bings Gryte was a windy place, and wanted to proceed a little further. We put our skins back on, skied up a hill, passed Grensevarden to the west and established a campsite just southeast of point 1715m. The time was now 19:00PM. We had been on the move nearly 11 hours, and skied 33Km.
Arriving Kjenndalskruna was the perfect start of the day for me. I felt fine and strong, and the equipment was working well. The group was still one happy bunch, and the weather was just great.
When I realized that the guide wanted to bypass Høgste Breakulen and Kvitekoll, I was disappointed. I had already been to Høgste Breakulen, and didn't care much for that one, but Kvitekoll was tempting. I also knew that Oddbjørn was very interested in these tops, and Oddbjørn raised the question to the group. Should we follow the shortest route, or take the detour? People seemed to be in favor of the shortest route, so we put the question to rest. To be quite honest, Kvitekoll didn't matter much to me. My heels had begun to ace, and I was more or less in a constant state of pain.
I had to use every 5 minute break to relieve the pain by taking my boots off. The guide, who was not a big believer in plastic boots, shook his head. 5 minutes was however all I needed to keep going for another hour. This was quite annoying. Not that this never had happened before, but I had simply forgotten about it. I had taped my feet from top to bottom, but forgotten about the soles. Oh well. Lesson learned.
The "upside" was that we HAD to cross the 1874m snowdome, and that would be the third top (if you can call it a top) on this trip. Moral was back at full strength. Pain or no pain. But oddly enough, I felt a bit tired during lunch below Kvitekoll. Not tired as in fatigue, but I felt there was a certain lack of energy. I needed food, but I hadn't much food left. That's what you get from packing light. Breakfast was a small handful of porridge. Lunch was 3-4 slices of bread and then there was dinner (Real Turmat) at the campsite. I had a handful of nuts and a small chocolate for the next day. Sounds enough, but it wasn't quite so. In addition to my slices of bread, I decided to add my next day's breakfast to this lunch. Afterwards, my energy was restored. Hallstein had too much food, and gave me some noodles for breakfast the next day. Thanks Hallstein!
The rest of the day went quite well. I ceased every opportunity to relieve pressure from my heels, knowing a campsite was not too far away. The campsite was up and running faster than on the two previous evenings, and we settled in "record time". That moment - after dinner, and after all the gear is in place and accounted for, when I enter the sleeping bag, is one of my very favorite moments in life. The other world couldn't be further away. There are no worries. No concerns. Just relaxation and positive thoughts. A good chat with a good friend is extra bonus, but the silence, when the night falls, is the best part of it all.
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Views from Kjenndalskruna:
Passing Høgste Breakulen:
To the campsite near Grensevarden:
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