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Ullstinden in the Clouds

Ullstinden in the Clouds

The morning after the aurora show, I woke up to a very sunny day. I had planned to climb Ullstinden, another Ti på Topp mountain (1078m). I left the house as quick as I could, as I knew it would get more cloudy throughout the day. I started the hike in beautiful sunshine, though there were already some low clouds all around. I was  looking forward to the view towards the Lyngen Alps, as you can see here in Paul’s photos. But my luck ran out this time, somewhere halfway to the top, I was in the clouds! Nothing to be seen… When I reached the top (after 3 hours), it even started raining a bit. Oh well 😀

I started my hike in sunshine with good views, but that didn't last very long The top of Ullstinden... I was looking forward to spectacular views, but no such luck!

On my way back, I couldn’t see much either, but every now and then a small hole in the clouds revealed the view towards Tromsø. I was surprised to find a patch of flowers high up on the mountain, so late in the summer…

Every now and then there was a small hole in the clouds I was surprised to find this patch of flowers!

There was this beautiful stream surrounded by vibrant green moss… I didn’t have a tripod with me but there were plenty of rocks to use as a stable base to get some long exposures of the waterfall.

A small mossy stream in the rain The green colours were so vibrant in the middle of a grey world

Autumn comes early in September here, and on Ullstinden the autumn colours were beautiful 🙂

Autumn colours: some bright red pathes And some very yellow parts!

At some point you go through a pretty birch forest, with lots of firns and mushrooms.

Through the forest A big mushroom in the forest

The final km is an annoying stretch of swamp. The total time used for this hike was about 5.5 hours. Here is the map and profile…

Route to Ullstinden Height profile of Ullstinden

This was my 17th Ti på Topp (out of 20) 🙂 It’s been a good summer!



Last Thursday the weather was looking good, and I decided to climb Gorzelvtinden – my highest mountain so far this summer, at 1072 m. The route starts by climbing steeply up through a pretty forest. Above the treeline it flattens out a bit, but from 600 m it’s steep with loose rocks. You first reach Durmålsfjellet at 1020 m, and from there it’s about 2 km along an almost flat ridge to Gorzelvtinden. As soon as I reached the ridge, it was VERY windy. The kind of wind that takes your breath away and can actually get you out of balance – so I made sure to stay well away from the steep sides. I didn’t take many photos on my way up, so the first photos here are taken from the top 🙂 The first one is looking back along the ridge to Durmålsfjellet and the second shows a panorama of the view.

Looking back along the ridge from Gorzelvtinden towards Durmålsfjellet. You can just about make out the couple walking ahead of me, to the left. The route goes far from the steep edge - I didn't follow the path you can see just above the snow! Panorama from Gorzelvtinden

I only stayed at the top for about 5 minutes, as it was way to windy to even think about having a lunch break there. The views were spectacular though, this is a relatively new area for me and I really liked it. On both side of the mountains are some long valleys that would be worth visiting. I quickly made it back to Durmålsfjellet, where people had built an enormous sheltered bench, perfect for my lunch break! This must be the dominating wind direction on this mountain, as it was placed perfectly. It was strange to sit there comfortably while hearing the wind howling behind me. The wind was so noisy that my ears felt numb (like after a loud concert) when the sound finally fell away!

Panorama from Durmålsfjellet The sheltered bench - though it might be a bit hard to distinguish!

Going up a steep slope with loose rocks is one thing, coming down is much much worse. At least with all the mountain hiking I’ve done over the past weeks, my muscles have become a lot stronger and my knees don’t hurt anymore on slopes like this – but it’s still tiring as you have to concentrate on every single step and are constantly out of balance. I kept longing for the grassy slope at the bottom…

A very welcome patch of grass in the middle of the rocks Looking down from the same spots, so many rocks, so far to go... sigh

When I finally reached the grassy slopes, I met an older man who told me he did Bakaromntinden that morning and he was on his way to Gorzelvtinden now… Wow, some people! There was a group of horses in this area, and on Facebook I had read that some people had bad experiences with them. This time they were only interested in eating grass though 😉 so I took a few photos of them. I also tried to take a self portrait with Tromsdalstinden in the background, but I kept blocking the mountain with my own head 😀

The 'scary' horses on the slopes of Gorzelvtinden Self portrait without Tromsdalstinden - it's hidden behind my head :D

Coming down through the forest was really nice. And I met some sheep along the way 🙂

Pretty path through the forest - look at how yellow that tree to the left is already... I met some sheep near the bottom

I took it really easy on my way down, and the total time was about 7 hours. It was a really nice trip, also because I met really nice people along the way 🙂 Some people I had met on Bakaromntinden before, others on Raudfjellet… so there were some friendly reunions. The couple who had been so kind to me on Bakaromntinden were worried about me being alone, and really kept an eye out for me. I was fine, but it’s nice to know that someone cares! Anyway, here is the map and height profile…

The route up Gorzelvtinden The height profile of Gorzelvtinden

This was probably my last mountain for a while, as I had to come back to work. But if the weather is nice on the odd day off, I’ll be back! 😉

Sunset Panoramas

Sunset Panoramas

Yesterday was a grey and rainy day, but I knew the edge of the weather front was approaching Tromsø – and that there were clear skies on the other side! So all day I kept an eye on the radar images, but the front was moving incredibly slow. In the late afternoon it finally stopped raining, and I decided to go up Åsfjellet. When I got to the top, I could clearly see the edge of the front lying over Tromsø, with clear skies to the west (over Kvaløya). Still it took ages before the sun came out – and it came out because the sun sank below the clouds, not because the front moved away 😀

(Click to enlarge, these panoramas really deserve to be viewed full size!)

The weather front seen from Åsfjellet - on the far left you can still see the remaining low clouds after all the rain, but to the west skies are clear

Åsfjellet is a short walk (it takes just over an hour to get up, 45 minutes to get down), I still had energy left, and I suspected the frontal clouds would colour nicely in the sunset. So I quickly decided to climb another mountain: Movikhammaren, similar in height and length to Åsfjellet. The sun was setting while I ran up the steep path next to the river…

Sunset while climbing Movikhammaren

I quickly made it above the treeline and indeed, after the sun disappeared the clouds started to get a deep orange colour – so pretty!

Just after sunset, the clouds turned a deep orange

The views were truly breathtaking all the way to the top, with the colours changing constantly until they became pink…

Breathtaking view from the top!!

Then purple…

Pink turned into purple...

And finally the clouds started to lose their colours, while the horizon remained orange, and the lights on Tromsø island were slowly turned on.

Until the clouds lost colour while the lights on Tromsø island are turned on

What an incredible evening 🙂