Last weekend I went hiking again, with another friend, Geli. Our objective was Tromsdalstinden- the really big mountain in all last weeks pictures. The weather was a little bit less than ideal, there was a persistent low flying band of cloud hanging around but it looked like the top of Tromsdalstinden was above the cloud and we were slightly hopeful that the cloud would burn off, so away we went. The route sets off up the track in Tromsdalen for not quite 3 km, then a signposted footpath leads down to a bridge over the stream and up through the trees the other side. This brought us into the cloud. We emerged from the cloud at the place were the path goes over a col towards Skarvassbu with the flanks of Tromsdalstinden rising on the right.
The path soon becomes very steep, until you gain the ridge proper. From here on in the way is rocky, but less steep, and well waymarked with red paint. We were really lucky in that it stopped drizzling when we were part way up that first steep part, and remained dry until we were on the top. We were super lucky to arrive at a cloud free summit, although we could see a lot of cloud all around. Unfortunately it did start drizzling again, and the cloud rolled in, as we got our sandwiches out.
We continued along the ridge from the summit, towards the southwest, admiring more rocks & clouds. The route we took turned back on itself after reaching the col between Tromsdalstinden and the much lower Salen, traversing along a ledge above the meadow in the head of the valley. Eventually we were in the meadow, then fording the stream, and so returned on the track.
Elsewhere everything is going well. This morning I had my interview with the police & got the paper documenting that I am legally resident in Norway. Then I was able to register at the tax office, who will send me a personal number – without which you cant really do anything in Norway. I filled out the forms at the post office that will allow me to receive post. My landlady returned and we do now have a hob to cook on. Work is interesting. Oh and I have (second or third hand) furniture – massive thanks to Geli for helping me move it across town – no more sleeping on the floor. I’m still in my sleeping bag, of course, but that is nice & cosy. 🙂
Some of you may be spotting a theme to these blog posts! I promise I have been doing something other than hiking – work for example. Work has actually been super exciting, last week we had the kick-off meeting for the project I will be working with, which Justin blogged about so I don’t have to! This week I have been getting stuck into trying to understand satellite radar altimetry, and having my first little look at some data from CryoSat a satellite mission that provides (or will provide, its actually still in calibration/ validation at the mo) sea ice freeboard (the bit sticking up above the water) for the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans as well as lots of other cool data for people studying land ice (glaciers & ice sheets & so on).
Anyway, back to last sundays hike: I first of all had to move some things from one house to another so I was fairly late starting, so decided not to attempt anything too ambitious. I took a stroll into Tromsdalen, a big wide valley the leads south east away from Tromsø. Tromsdalen is dominated by Tromsdalstinden, a high peak at the head of the valley, but thats an objective for another day. Instead I followed a wide track that leads around up a spur on the west near the head of the valley, to a pair of lakes. From these lakes I made my way back to town via Bønntuva and Fløya, and down the steep path below the cable car. My legs were pretty sore by the time I was making my way back up the hill to the B&B near Prestvannet!
The approach up Tromsdalen, with Tromsdalstinden on the skyline… & emerging into the meadows
I need a better zoom! I saw a really big herd of deer grazing.
This cairns got horns! Bønntuva.
The island from above…
I zoomed in on the top of the island to show you the lake near to the B&B I was staying in.
Tromsø is particularly good for all kinds of being outdoors. There is tons of hiking in the area, there are mountains, there is climbing, biking, canoeing, horseback riding, and in the winter all kinds of skiing of course. And there is fishing. Fishing in salt water in Norway is a common right, open to everyone, with some limits on the size of the fish you should take out vs those you should put back to grow bigger.
Sunday 1st September I was lucky enough to go hiking AND fishing with some friends/ colleagues of mine. The hike was one from the book ‘TipåTopp’ a collection of hikes in the Tromsø area with geocaches at their end points, there are prizes for finishing the season with 5, 10, or 15 of the codes from the geocaches.
The hike was a short 2 km to Rismålhøgda (283m), a beautiful location with views of Kvalsundet and surrounding mountains. There were some short pauses on the way up for blueberry munching! At the top we found the geocache…
We then embarked on an extension of the walk around a lake, Tennvatnet. The lake was just beautiful.
There were mushrooms and more blueberries.
And so to the fishing part. It was so peaceful down by the shore and so warm in the sun that Gabi & I actually nodded off while the boys were fishing! I tried my hand & found that the casting thing is much easier then it looks. I caught 5 fish but put them all back for being small. Fish are surprisingly slimy and surprisingly strong! Gabi & Justin each got one large enough to keep. Yum!
We left as the light took on that gorgeous evening quality. Sorry for posting tons of pics, but its SO gorgeous around here!
Now that I have something interesting going on, I might start using my blog as a blog, especially aimed at those dear to me who don’t use the evil book of faces so miss all my updates on there! This has been a very exciting summer for me. I was interviewed in June for what just might be my dream job – working on a project that aims to answer some of the really big questions in sea-ice research at the moment. I really didn’t think I’d interviewed well or that I would get the job; but in July I got the call inviting me to start work in Tromsø in September!
Summer passed in a whirl of packing, trying to decide what to do with various things, what to keep, what to re-home… Suddenly September is here, I flew out on August 28th with two 60l bags and am now living a very Spartan existence indeed. But, what is Tromsø really like, you ask? Well, to start to answer that question here are some photos from a walk I took from one end of the island (Tromsøya) to the other on the first Saturday I was here (31st August):
First, a couple of pictures of the old harbour front down in town. Tromsø has a lot of these big wooden houses and two very similar looking bridges. This is the one leading east, to the mainland.
At the south of the island, Telegrafbukta, is a small park with picnic spots and some lovely views.
Leaving Telegrafbukta and beginning to climb up towards the spine of the island, you soon find yourself following what will be the lit ski trail in winter. This trail runs 11.6 km the length along the long axis of the island.
About one third of the way along the trail passes Prestvannet, the lake in the top of the island, and then the domes of K-sat (The lovely people who sponsored my phd).
And so the trail goes on… past Hamna… and descending towards the northern shore. The north (Nordspissen) doesn’t have a park, just rocky shore.
It seemed a very long way back!