Day 61

Day 61, 10 March 2016

Meet my new friend

A second beautiful day; blue skies and no wind. Couldn’t ask for a kinder start, just think how bad I could be in lousy weather and deep snow. We left Nedalshytta – a nice little hut filled with a friendly and experienced Swiss guy called Hennig and 6 Germans having a cross country and outdoor winter “experience”. It was uphill from the start and before long my tracks were a lot more herring bone than parallel. I am sweating like a — —- in —– (you fill in the blanks). Temperature control is my biggest issue; it’s hard work when you have no skiing skill, you’re dressed like a polar explorer, and it’s sunny too. After about 6km we reached a col and it was largely downhill after that. Think I’m getting the hang of the gliding; only fell over twice. We did a bit of off piste through birch forest – more on that in a while. Saw a mountain hare and the tracks of an arctic fox. Then the last few km were across a frozen lake to the hut at Storerikvollen.
I’d cross-examined C several times about ice thickness and open water. He kept telling me it was fine with +4 inches of ice. Then in the next breath he would explain if I went through I must detach my skis immediately. It takes me 10 minutes to get them off in a hotel car park. Anyway we got across ok and shared our hut with three Germans (new ones), two friendly Swedes and Hennig our friend from the night before.
Ah yes I wanted to tell you about my new mate, Sammy. He’s my sled. Most of the time he’s pretty obedient and just tails along behind me. When we are traversing slopes he gets playful and wanders down hill, but comes back if I give his lead a tug. But occasionally, like this afternoon, he can be a real pain. I’d gone to the right of a tree and he decided to go to the left. I ended up being yanked backwards and lying in the snow. He’ll be on a short leash tomorrow.