20 Jan_2

Day 15, 20 Jan 2016

Headed into mountains

Left Hovden in glorious blue sky weather at a bitter -23C. Following a marked, prepared trail, we went uphill for 400 metres and it was an amazing feeling to finally be above the tree line.
Ski and sleds move in snow by a fine lubricating layer forming as a result of friction. At -23C this doesn’t happen!!! It’s like dragging a sled in sand.
After 1 1/2 hours and at 1200 metres we left the prepared track; we were on our own at last. We could just see one old ski track that a fox had followed as line of least resistance in its search for food.
We had some wonderful descents and a few up-hills where we had to herringbone when the half skins did not grip due to the steep angle.
We followed an old skidoo (Snow Scooter) trail down to the lake and over 2 more small lakes where we branched off to a beautiful mountain cabin. Fired the stoves up and had the kettle whistling in minutes. Wonderful, despite still seeing our breath after 3 hours of the stove going.
While Hilary made dinner, Conrad went down to lake with axe and after 11″ of solid ice and no water we decided that the small lakes must be OK to travel upon. Tomorrow we travel to a large hydro regulated lake so we must treat it with respect.
It’s wonderful to be able to feel as if we are really skiing, despite this being a shortish day of only 16 km. Only one person has used the hut this year and then before that it was 7 November, before the snow was here.