The Hardangervidda National Park covers an area of approximately 3400 square kilometers and includes the largest eroded mountain plateau in Europe with a largely barren landscape of rolling hills and many lakes, pools, rivers & streams. With an average altitude of 1100m and winter temperatures regularly around -20ºC and below(!) the Hardangervidda has been the chosen training site for many pre polar expeditions, including that of Roald Amundsen prior to his expedition to be the first to reach the South Pole (though Norwegian's hardly mention the subject!).
The Telemark region of the Hardangervidda was also the setting for one of the most remarkable stories of daring, heroism and survival, and which played a major part in the outcome of the second world war - The Heroes of Telemark.
TUESDAY - and with a slightly dubious forecast for the coming week it was decided we would spend our first full day on snow shoes heading for the nearby summit of Laksanutane by making our way over the frozen surface of the lake and making our way through the trees that lined the far shore. From here we made our way to the summit avoiding any slopes that could pose a potential avalanche risk.
|Looking from the slopes of Latsanutane.|
|On the summit!|
|Rob, Sam & Gary snow shoe to the summit.|
|The Quin-zhee takes shape|
|Brett digs out from inside.|
|Mike, Dave & John make their beds for a night in the shelter.|
Setting off for a suitable site on the far side of the lake we were assisted by a team of 11 dogs & the musher Olav. Not as laid back as shown on travel shows, traveling with dogs involves a lot of running when going up hills!
|Skiing on the lake surface.|
|The dog team head for the fishing grounds.|
|Olav de-ices the sled runners whilst the dogs eat.|
FRIDAY & SATURDAY - would be the culmination of our week with a 2 day trip involving a days snow shoeing to spend a night in the Lavu (wigwam like tent) before returning back to the hut the next day to the end of our wee.
Leaving after a good breakfast we made our way over the lake where it was noticeably colder than previous days with the added wind chill. After crossing Møsvatn we made our way up and onto the plateau before heading down to over night camp.
The evening was spent in the excellent company of Olav who introduced us to a 12month old trout delicacy & some tunes from his mandolin, all assisted by a drop of Whisky!!
With some of us spending the night in a nearby tent and not the Lavu with its stove it was a little uncomfortable with an outside temperature of -30C!
|Making our way to the lavu.|
|Stunning Norwegian scenery.|
|At the Lavu site with dogs being fed.|
|Sunrise over camp -30C!|
|Making our way over the flat surface of the frozen lake.|
|Norway Snow Shoe Expedition - 2013.|