A couple of weeks ago I went on a weekend trip with two friends, to Skarvassbu, the only cabin on the mainland near Tromsø that I hadn’t visited. We drove to the parking place of the ski slope and made our way up Krokelvdalen from there. It had been getting colder in the week leading up to this trip, but we were still surprised to see how much ice there was – frozen rivers and frozen waterfalls everywhere.

On our way up Krokelvdalen Lots of ice!

We took it easy and had a nice lunch break when we had climbed out of the valley. We stopped for photos quite a lot, plenty of pretty ice to photograph! Coming out of Krokelvdalen we walked in open terrain which was relatively flat.

Pretty patterns on a freezing lake Moon landscape :)

At the edge of this area, we suddenly had this view – so beautiful! The big lake is called Storskarvatnan and we could see the cabins from up there. We were all awed by the spectacular view!

Coming down towards Storskarvatnan, calm as a mirror A wider image of the pretty view - and if you have a keen eye you might be able to spot the cabin :D

The distance from Kroken to the cabin was 8 km and it took us 4 hours at a very leisurely speed, including the lunch break. There were 2 girls in the small cabin which sleeps 4, so we decided to claim the newer, larger one (which sleeps 7). There were a couple of people around who were just stopping for a break, but in the end our only company was a Polish priest. He looked like a monk in long robes, and he had climbed Tromsdalstinden on the way to the cabin – impressive! He was slightly strange and unexpected company (walking back and forth outside the cabin reading his bible), but he was very friendly 🙂

Signe and I took some photos of cotton grass at a frozen lake, just when the sun was setting.

Arriving at Skarvassbu, the toilet/wood shed on the left and the old/small cabin (sleeping 4) on the right Sunset, cotton grass, a frozen lake and Tromsdalstinden - so pretty!

At Skarvassbu you can normally get water from the nearby river, but it was completely frozen now – even throwing a huge rock on the ice only resulted in some impressive cracks that showed the ice was impossibly thick. As there was no snow to melt, our only option was to get water from Storskarvatnan, which was open. This was quite a challenge, as it was almost 500 m to the lake. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but try 500 m uphill balancing over rocks covered in rime, trying not to spill your bucket full of water!

The last light of the day

We had high hopes to see the northern lights, as they had been very active in the days before the trip. The weather had been clear all day, but just as it was getting dark, some clouds came out of nowhere and soon covered the whole sky. What a pity! Around midnight it was even snowing lightly… oh well! We had a cosy night in, and a luxurious dinner with wine, followed by whiskey 🙂

The next morning the skies had cleared, and it was beautiful watching the first sunlight reaching the top of Tromsdalstinden!

Sunrise the next day has reached the top of Tromsdalstinden A morning view of the frozen lake

The old cabin at sunrise Jennifer takes a photo of the view towards Storskarvatnan

Some very pretty clouds drifted in 🙂

Pretty clouds! Another photo of the older cabin

We decided to walk back a different route, going from Skarvassbu to Blåkollkoia (another cabin, in the Tønsvik valley) and cross from there back to Kroken. The views were beautiful, and Storskarvatnan was like a mirror again.

This lake sparkled like it was covered in Swarovski crystals :) Tromsdalstinden and Skarvassbu reflected in Storskarvatnan


Storskarvatnan was like a mirror again

We did this hike at a perfect time of year, as the track between Skarvassbu and Blåkollkoia is very wet once you reach the Tønsvik valley. Now all the boggy areas and all the streams were frozen which made it a lot easier! We did have to cross a couple of larger rivers, which sometimes took some walking back and forth trying to find the best place, but we crossed all of them without incidents 🙂 Here is the frozen Tønsvik river we followed for a while (luckily we didn’t have to cross that one).

The frozen Tønsvik river that we followed for a while

We had lunch at Blåkollkoia before climbing up to Gråurvatnet which would get us back to Kroken. We were startled by a few rype (grouse) hunters, but luckily we were colourful (and loud 😉 ) enough to be spotted in time, and not mistaken for a grouse 😉

Another frozen lake

Before making our way back down to Kroken and the car, we took a group photo 🙂

At the end of a very successful trip we had to get this photo of the 3 of us: Jennifer, Signe and me

It had been a wonderful trip! So glad we made the most of such a sunny weekend 🙂

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