Archive for June, 2009

Rebbenesøya

Last weekend was Paul’s birthday and we decided to go for a camping trip to Rebbenesøya, an island to the northwest of Tromsø. It’s quite a drive, the ferry goes from Mikkelvik which is about 90 km from Tromsø. We took the last ferry on a Friday night, which is a very popular one. Some cars turned up too late and didn’t fit on the ferry! The crossing only takes 15 minutes. The first thing we saw on the island was a group of reindeer backlit by the sun… beautiful!

Our reason for going here was a beach surrounded by mountains, and according to the map there was an “unmarked path” to get there. We thought it would be beautiful to spend the night there. We started hiking quite late, but with the midnight sun that doesn’t really matter. The mountains we had to cross to get to the beach looked quite scary, but we thought there would be a way to cross, as it was indicated on the map. Of course the path was nowhere to be found, but we have learnt from previous experiences that “unmarked path” can mean anything here, so that didn’t surprise us. Here are some of the views on the way up:

After about three hours of walking, we were in front of the mountains we had to cross. *gulp* They looked way too steep to cross, to me it looked like you would need a rope and climbing gear! As we could still see no trace of this path, and we had no idea what it would be like on the other side of the mountain, we decided to abandon our plan. Here is a map of our hike, in red for the first day and in blue for the second day. The beach on the top left corner is the one we tried to reach…

It was a bit disappointing that we weren’t going to make our destination but instead, we did go up one of the nearby peaks. It was only about 600 m high, but we crawled around on hands and feet on the top – there were some steep drops! The top was bathing in sunlight which was very pretty.

The photo on the left (below) is a puzzle… enlarge it and try to find Paul! The other one shows the view we had from the top – spectacular!

This photo is taken on the way down. It was quite tough going, with lots of loose rocks.

We decided to walk down to the lake we could see, as we thought that would be a good place to put up the tent. We had one last adventure climbing down a steep slope which was covered in trees – not easy! We were quite tired by then, and we put the tent up at the first flat-ish bit we could find – never mind it was a bog ;) The weather had been great, and the forecast promised more sunny weather, but we woke up to rain and very grey skies!

While we took the tent down, the sun started coming out again though, we were very lucky. The panorama shows the area we were in – on the left the lake that we camped next to, and the sharp peak in the middle is the one we climbed.

It didn’t take very long to get back to the road, which we followed for a bit until we were back at the car. This was the view from our parking place:

We were in no rush and were planning to take the last ferry back that evening, so we drove around the island for a bit. Someone had put up a 70 degrees North sign, very nice! I just read on the island’s website that this is the only place in Troms county where you can cross this line by car… which is just because further east it crosses through Karlsoy county instead – but hey, let’s not spoil the fun ;)

There are lots of nice beaches on the island! Some are really white, and the sea is a very pretty colour of blue – you can almost imagine to be in a more tropical location!

We walked around for a while, and took lots of photos. Summer is in full swing now, and there are flowers everywhere.

In the panoramic image below you can see another (much smaller) island with a farm on it.

At the end of the road there is a small shop, with an abandoned looking petrol station. The shop was one of those everything-in-one shops including a post office, but it was closed when we were there.

The island only has about 60 permanent residents, who mostly work in the fishing industry. There are more than 80 holiday cabins though! That’s why the last ferry on Friday night is so busy, lots of people coming to the island to spend the weekend in their cabin. In the photo below you can see some of these cabins.

We took the last ferry back on Saturday evening, and we were the only passengers on it! By that time it had also started to rain so it was a good time to leave. It was a really nice mini trip! For me it was the first time to hike&camp; and I really enjoyed it.

It’s a very busy time for both of us, so we haven’t been out much. I do have some photos of another ti-pa-topp hike we did, I hope to upload them so
on. But with moving house (on Monday) and a thesis to finish, it might take a while!

Ti på Topp – Nordfjellet (626 m)

Last Friday the weather suddenly changed to sunny, while the forecast for the coming days looked quite bad, so we decided to use this opportunity to go hiking. Our car finally drives again too :) it still has to go to the garage, so we didn’t want to go too far with it. We drove to Kroken, on the mainland, to climb another of the 10 peaks: Nordfjellet. We’re quite familiar with this area; this is in the same valley. It was fun to see the same area without snow! The river was big, wild and noisy now…

Crossing one of the many streams in the valley, and the path we followed…

At some point we turned right, straight up the mountain. Nice views of Tromsdalstinden!

There was still quite a lot of snow higher up, we had to cross a few snowfields. We finally reached the top at 23:00. In the photo below you can see the special Ti på Topp letterbox which has the “Turbuka” inside, the book you can sign.

The views were really nice, but it was COLD up there!! It was very windy, and we didn’t bring any gloves or other warm clothes besides a jacket. Luckily there was a cairn where someone had built a kind of bench which was protected from the wind. In the first photo you can see the view towards the open ocean, and in the other one I am enjoying some really good Milka chocolate – this photo is especially for Irene who sent us a great supply of chocolate from Austria :))

Nice sundog… in the first photo you can see the Hurtigruten ship arriving, and in the second photo you can see its enormous shadow.

Finally some panorama’s of the view…. click to enlarge. Unfortunately you can’t see all of Tromsø island from the top.

On the way down we decided that walking on snow was easier than on rocks. The snow was usually strong enough to support our weight, but I did sink down to my knees a few times. It was quite steep, as you can see in the photos below. If you enlarge the second photo you can see how much snow I was dragging along in my trousers….

The light was beautiful on our way back. A last view of Tromsdalstinden….

Paul with the midnight sun… and a small tree, showing how up there Spring hasn’t quite arrived yet!

It was a great hike, and quite special to be there all alone that late at night. When we walked back through the valley around 1 in the morning, we did meet someone who was still going up! We got home very late, but I’m glad we went :)

Ti på Topp – Varden/Romssavárdu (159 m)

Every summer in Tromsø they organise something called “Ti på Topp” – ten (times) to the top. Basically you buy an envelop which contains maps and descriptions of 10 mountains to climb. 5 are relatively easy, 5 are moderate and then there are 5 extra ones which are a bit more challenging. If you climb more than 7 between June 1 and September 30 you get a mug. Of course you don’t do it just to get that mug ;) but it’s a great way to climb some mountains around Tromsø. There’s also a really nice photo competition that goes with it.

So this year I decided to join, even if we’re away quite a lot this summer.  The weather finally changed, it’s still cold but at least it’s sunny! Last Sunday I worked until 22:00 but the good thing about the midnight sun is that you can still go for a walk at midnight :) We started with the easiest “mountain” on the list – Varden/Romssavárdu, which is the top of Tromsø island and only 159 m high. To get there, you walk over the lysløpe (ski tracks) most of the way.

Paul having a chat to a reindeer… I think this is part of a research station belonging to the university, but I’m not sure. As we had so much rain lately, part of the path was still very muddy!

A beautiful lake we found on the way. I have skied past it a couple of times, but never noticed it!

The views were nice along the way! It didn’t take very long to reach the top. On top was a strange building which looks UFO shaped from a distance. We found out that it’s a navigation facility for the airport. On the building was a letterbox with a book to write your name in. Ti på Topp has only been going for a week, but many pages were filled already! They also put a code next to the box, you need this to register the top on the website.

The views from the top were really nice! This is at about 1 in the morning… nobody else around :)

Finally a few panorama images I took. This one was on the way to the top. I always find it amazing how you can be in the middle of Tromsø island and find such quiet places with great views. Ok it isn’t a very big city ;) but still!

The panorama’s below are taken from the top. The first one is a rare view where you can see the bridges on both sides of the islands! I have put extra large versions of the photos below, click to enlarge…

It was a beautiful evening! We got home at about 2 in the morning, a bit crazy, but it was nice to get away from work for a bit and get some fresh air. I’m not sure when we’ll next have time to go hiking, the thesis is eating up must of my time at the moment. Plus we’re a bit limited as well since our car is still not working properly and it might take a while before it’s fixed. We still have our bikes though :)

Midnight Sun Rain

At this time of year Tromsø gets 24 hours of sunlight…. though lately it’s been more like 24 hours of rain!! Today the sun peeped through a few times, which made for beautiful rainbows! The one on the right ends in the Mack brewery, that’s where the gold is apparently ;)