It´s Easter, and many Norwegians traveling to the mountains. According yr.no, the weather can be very varied and you should think about if you are going to walk long distances in the mountains.. The mountain weather can turn very quickly and it can be nearly impossible to navigate. The mountain code helps you to plan a safe trip.
Mountain code was published by Red Cross and Tourism Association in 1952, on the basis of a number of accidents in the mountains. This year the mountain code is republished to fit our modern outdoor recreation. Use the rules to move safely in the Norwegian mountains, and you will have an unforgettable trip!
#1 - Plan your trip and inform where you go.
- Plan your trip for the group´s abilities, and always have several options.
- Be sure to have information about the area and the circumstances in which you should walk. Listen to experienced mountaineers.
- Be sure to have the knowledge and skills required for your trip.
- Pay attention to nature. With a little planning, you will help to not litter the countryside.
- Make appointments without the need for mobile coverage and precise time.
#2 - Customize your trip according to ability and conditions.
- Make ongoing assessments of the conditions and adjust your plans accordingly.
- Always respect the weather!
- Being on tour along with other increased safety, and someone to share experiences with. Are you traveling alone, be extra cautious.
- Do not walk long distances without experience, you must be able to take care of yourself and others in the group.
- Be considerate of other hikers. Know all man rights and obligations provided.
- Make sure your tour group has a culture of open and direct communication.
#3 - Pay attention to weather and avalanche warnings.
- Always use weather and avalanche forecasts and read up on what it means for you in the area you will be boating.
- Take advantage of the advice related to the alert and choose safe terrain when conditions are demanding.
- Weather forecast: yr.no and storm.no (norwegian only).
- Avalanche warning: varsom.no
#4 - Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips.
- Dress for the weather and conditions.
- Remember that weather changes quickly in the mountains. Bring both extra clothes, and the necessary equipment.
- Extra food and drink can help both you and others, if you are taking more time than planned or have to wait for help.
#5 - Bring the necessary equipment to help yourself and others.
- In winter trip, you may need wind bag, underlay, sleeping bags and a shovel to clear up a night out. Wind bag can save lives.
- Bring something that makes you visible, such as a reflective vest or headlamp, which lets you more easily found if the worst happens.
- Bring a first aid kit. It allows you to help yourself and others.
- Always use transmitter / receiver, and having a probe pole and shovel if you are traveling in avalanche prone terrain.
- Pack smart!
- Mobile phones can be a useful tool, but remember that many areas without mobile coverage in the mountains.
- If an accident occurs, alert the police on 112, go for help or try to notify otherwise.
#6 - Take safe paths. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
- Conscious and good decisions of the route is the most important to avoid landslides.
- Know that landslides may loosen on slopes greater than five meters, and steeper than 30 degrees.
- Although it is flat where you are, you can trigger landslides in the mountain over you.
- Et skred kan gå tre ganger langt, som høyden på henget det utløses fra.
- Avoid terrain traps, such as narrow gorges. Think about what happens if it triggered an avalanche.
- Be aware of danger by going on the edge of a snowdrift, if you go on a mountain ridge.
- Be aware of ice conditions when you go on regulated water, and the inlet and outlet areas.
#7 - Use a map and compass. Always know where you are.
- Use a map and compass, it always works.
- Follow the map also when you walk on marked route.
- The scenery becomes richer if one included on the map along the way.
- GPS and other electronic aids are helpful, but be sure to bring extra power.
#8 - Turn back in time, there is no disgrace.
- Reconsider plan continuously and choose plan B long before you become exhausted.
- Have circumstances changed? Should you turn?
- Has anyone in the group difficult to complete the trip? Should the group turn around?
#9 - Conserve energy and seek shelter if necessary.
- Adjust your speed to the weakest in the group, and make sure everyone in the group is gathered.
- Remember to eat and drink frequently. When you exert yourself, your body needs more fluids than you feel the need.
- Do not wait until you are exhausted to seek shelter. You tire very quickly if the wind is strong.
- Use wind-bag, or dig into the snow in time.
Mountain code is copied and translated from the Tourist Association´s website: Ut.no/fjellvettreglene.
Holmavatn cabin is one of the tourist association´s high mountain huts. It is located about 14 km south of Haukeliseter Fjellstue.
Winter route from Haukeliseter to Holmavatnhytta is 20 km long. The reason why you need to go further during the winter, is that the summer trail goes through an area with high risk of avalanche.
On Friday we traveled by car to Haukeliseter where we slept the first night. The travel companion consisted of my brother, a friend of my brother and me.
Haukeliseter is the largest tourist association accommodation. It is located 1,000 meters above sea level between Oslo and Haugesund along E134. You can come here with Haukeliekspressen from Oslo or Haugesund (Bergen) or your own car.
In the morning next day, the weather was absolutely fantastic! -12 Celsius and blue sky! The other guys wanted to Kite instead of walk to early. But because of that time can not be stopped, I went without them to arrive before dark. The trail from Haukeliseter to Holmavatnhytta is marked by sticks inserted into the snow, made it easy to find the right way.Be aware that the weather in the mountains can turn extremely fast. Therefore, you should carry enough equipment to seek shelter if the weather turns bad and you are deep in the mountains!
On my way, I was taken in by a couple who were also on their way to the same cabin. We walked together a few km, until I realized I had not stand a chance to go at the same speed as them. We agreed that if I did not come to the cabin, they should go back to look for me.
After 9 hours, I finally found the snow-covered cottage where I was welcomed by the people I met earlier and a few others. What a good feeling to finally arrive!
After darkness had settled over the beautiful mountain scenery, we all went out to look at the starry sky. And although it was hard to bring my camera equipment (5 kilos extra weight) all the way to the cabin, it was certainly worth it! I took some of the most beautiful pictures I´ve ever taken!
The next morning, I woke up just before sunrise. It was an absolutely magical atmosphere and silence out. Our trip back to Haukeliseter went much faster: 5 hours. There was a lot of extra motivation in getting accompany some of the people I met at the cabin.
Although I had gone about 35 km with blisters on my feet and was so stiff that I almost could not move afterwards, this was a really amazing trip! Thanks for the trip!
Here is a small video of the excursion to Geilo. In the upcoming period, it is normally fantastic weather and fantastic conditions in the mountains!
Cutting: Are Luke
This weekend, I joined the Norwegian Trekking Association (Den Norske Turistforeningen). As a member, you can stay in the association´s cabins at a very low price. Even if you are not a member, you can also make use of the cabins.
Pictured above: Rallarvegen, a popular mountain trail from Haugastøl to Flåm.
The Norwegian Trekking Association is a non-profit association that was created in the mid 1800s. The Association´s vision is "Nature experiences for life."
All over the country, there are a lot of cabins that anyone can use. The cabins are also open to tourists wanting accommodation in the Norwegian nature. You can you find a complete list of cabins at ut.no. Prices are from 100 NOK, for one night per person if you are a member of the association (from 200 NOK for non-members).
Most cabins are without staff, and you should leave money in a box. Note that you need a key to most of these cabins. Other cabins are serviced, and you can even be served food.
In recent years, there are unfortunately many who do not pay for themselves. Remember that there are volunteers who transports timber, gas, food, and maintain the cabins. They allow you to have a wonderful stay there. So please pay, if you use one of the cabins. It will definitely be worth it.
Today we visited Geilo, where we went downhill skiing. Geilo is located in the mountains, midway between Oslo and Bergen. Geilo is a mountain village with nice skiing opportunities, which is easily reached by train.
Our train leaved Oslo Sentralstation at 8:25 AM. Along the way, we captured some great pictures from the passenger seats at the Bergen Line.
Bergensbanen has repeatedly been named one of the world´s finest railway lines. We were fortunate to get clear sky weather, which gave some of the best veiws that the Bergen Line can offer. The picture below, was our veiw from the train window.
From the station, it is about 700 meters of walking to the ski resort. Geilo´s ski resort is divided into two areas that are connected by a shuttle bus. Here you will find trails suitable for all ages and difficulty levels. Overall you will find 18 lifts with a total of 25 runs.
During the day, we skied for 4 hours. The weather was perfect the entire day, and we had good trail conditions.
At 4:30 pm, the lifts were closed for the day. Therefore, nothing was better than to go afterskiing at the local pub, with beer and burgers before the ride home.
If you want to go downhill skiing in Norway, you will find a large number of ski resorts all over the country. In fact you can even ski in summer on the glaciers. All major (and many minor) ski resorts also offer you to rent skis.
In the list below, you will find the biggest resorts across Norway, which also offers rental of skis and equipment:
- North (Narvik): Narvikfjellet
- Trøndelag (2 hours from Trondheim): Oppdal
- West (1 hour, 30 min south of Ålesund): Stranda
- West (Voss / 1 hour, 30 min east of Bergen): Voss
- West (2 hours from Haugesund): Røldal
- West (Between Oslo and Haugesund): Hovden
- East (Between Oslo and Bergen): Hemsedal
- East (East in Hedmark): Trysil
- East (Between Oslo and Bergen): Geilo
- East (Øyer / 30 min north of Lillehammer): Hafjell
- East (1 hour north of Lillehammer): Kvitfjell
- East (30 min from Oslo city center): Oslo vinterpark
- Summer (45 min east of Stryn): Stryn (norwegian site)
- Summer (Odda / 2 hours east of Bergen): Folgefonna
- Summer (Between Lillehammer and Sogndal): Galdhøpiggen Sommerskisenter