Today I tried my new randonnée skis outside of a ski area for the first time. I wanted to start with something easy, so I picked a small (500 m) mountain about 15 minutes drive from my flat in Tromsø called Rødtinden. Navigationaly it was a very simple trip; I could see the cairn on the top from behind my steering wheel in the car park at the bottom and headed straight for it – absolutely no faffing with the map required!

I was completely blown away by how well the full-sized climbing skins on my new skis worked compared with the small ones on my old skis. I could just march straight up the 30 degree slope, instead of tediously having to traverse (tack) up it as I would have had to with my old fjellskis. I made a bee line for the summit and was there in under an hour, so quick that I went a bit further to another nearby peak a few tens of meters higher. I took these panoramas while lying behind a rock to get out of the wind (it was blowing a hoolie up there even though it was calm at the bottom). On the way up I was thinking that with my new skis I could have carried a light paraglider up without much difficulty, but today it was far too windy to have been able to take off safely. One step at a time…

The descent was great to start off with, there was about an inch of powder on top of some smooth, hard-packed snow. It was as if an easy blue run had been smeared out over the whole mountainside. But, within 15 minutes I was down to the tree line and had to start slaloming around the spindly birches that cover everything below about 300 m around here. This was pretty tedious, so I think next time I’ll try to find a less tree infested route. 

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