Archive for February, 2015

LOTS of snow!

We’ve had an interesting week and a half – weather wise. The calm weather of January abruptly came to an end when extreme weather “Ole” hit us on the 7th of February. The weather was wild the rest of the week, with strong winds and heavy snow showers. If you want to see me ridiculously excited about another half a meter of snow coming our way, click here and watch the first video.

Yesterday was International Winter Bike to Work Day, and I was determined to bike to work that day, come rain or shine. Come snow too… I have to admit, it wasn’t much fun cycling through deep snow. You basically have a choice of taking the main (busy) roads where you’ll no doubt annoy car drivers (the car vs bikes culture here isn’t very friendly, though it’s slowly getting better), or the smaller roads which are quieter. After my accident last year (I was hit by a car passing me too close) I refuse to cycle on the busy main roads. I have found a nice new route, but those quiet roads (and cycle paths) are not always cleared first thing in the morning, and the snow was so deep I sometimes had to walk. It took me half an hour to cover the 3 km to work (100 m uphill), almost double as much as in summer.

The only other colleague who cycles all winter is Misha. He doesn’t have a driver’s license, and cycles to work every single day – AND he tows a bicycle trailer with his twin daughters uphill to take them to daycare before coming to work. I’m impressed!! We decided to do a photo shoot for the occassion :) which was lots of fun!

Misha Cycling in heavy snow

We recently got a bike shed at work, very fancy with a sliding automatic door :D but the path to the entrance hadn’t been cleared for a few days, and it took me half an hour to get through the deep snow!

We had a lot of fun taking photos :) We have a brand new bike shed at work, but clearing a path to it took half an hour!

From inside the bike shed you can clearly see that we have almost a meter of snow now. I also took a photo of my colleague Trond, who comes to work by kicksled every day – that looks like a lot of fun!

From inside it's easy to see we have about a meter of snow Trond on his kicksled, which he rides to work every day in winter. In the background (with the red hat) my boss is coming towards us

Meanwhile, Gunnar started clearing a path to our measuring site, and I took some photos of him in action. Daily life at the forecasting office in Tromsø :)

Gunnar ready to shovel some snow Gunnar in action

Today the sun finally broke through – in between more snow showers ;) But it’s amazing how a bit of sunshine instantly turned the world into winter wonderland.

The world instantly turned into a winter wonderland when the sun broke through But behind me a new snow shower was approaching...

At some point it was snowing heavily while the sun was still shining – beautiful! I loved the dramatic skies today :)

Sun and snow at the same time, beautiful! Dramatic views

The mailboxes clearly show how much snow came OVERNIGHT – I had cleared them the day before. We pay someone to clear our parking lot and road behind the house – I am very happy with that, as it would be a LOT of work to clear that large area. Unfortunately I’ll still have to dig out my car myself :P

That's how much snow we got overnight, I had cleared it the day before... Home - so glad we pay someone to clear the snow in the parking lot. He won't do my car though (on the right) ;)

Tomorrow my friend Teresa is coming to visit for 3 days, and the weather looks quite promising – looking forward to some nice ski trips!!

Bønntuva

Last Saturday I was invited along on a hike to Bønntuva by my colleague Misha. We left Tromsdalen early on a beautiful clear day. Just above the Red Cross cabin we found the sun – beautiful!

Always welcome: the sun! Icy patches and some softer snow that has been blown around - but snowshoes or ski's weren't needed

It was cold and windy though, so we didn’t linger on the top for very long – but nice views! We also realised we should have gone to Kjølen for maximum sun exposure… we kept seeing the top of Kjølen bathing in the sun ;)

View towards Tromsø and Kvaløya

We had a quick lunch break sheltered from the wind, but it was too cold to stop for very long.

Empty landscapes Beautiful sculpted snow, with Tromsdalstinden in the background

We started making our way back to Tromsdalen, hoping for a shortcut, but quickly realising we had to go almost all the way back to the end of the valley. And hurray, we managed to find a stretch of deep powder snow – very nice, except when you don’t have ski’s or snowshoes on your feet! Misha was hoping to be back with his kids around lunch time, but our short hike turned into a 6 hour (exhausting!) 16 km trip – oops :D Luckily we agreed that it had been worth it :)