Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Besseggen Ridge, Jotunheimen, Norway.
Almost one week ago I was preparing myself for a nice little mountain hike. Little did I know that it was going to be of epic proportions. On Thursday morning, 10th of September I awoke at a very early hour, 4 am (okay I’ll be honest I was supposed to get up at 4 but it was cold I and my bed was warm so I got up around 4:15 :O). I dressed in my best hiking gear; which was my smartwool long sleeve shirt, smartwool socks, my tennies, jeans and topped it off with my purple Camp Wawona staff shirt. Of course I took along my Georgia Cumberland Academy hoodie and the fleece that Erin is letting me borrow till my new jackets come in. I was ready to go.
After a four-hour drive to the Besseggen ridge we all unloaded out of the two vans and were ready for our epic adventure!!
We had to take the ferry across the lake so we wouldn’t haveto walk in and out in one day (that’s a long journey). The ferry ride over was exciting but WAY TOO COLD. The wind was blowing and we weren’t used to such chill, we huddled together on the front of the boat like penguins. Of course we could have gone inside but really who wants to miss out on the excitement of the out doors?
Once we docked we gathered for prayer and headed up and over to cross what we thought would be a nice little hike. On my way up to the first ridge I got so hot I took off all my jackets and hat, but once arrive up high realized the cold would turn me into a popsicle. The view was amazing from up there.Eventually we got to a point where we could see water on both sides, but the water on one side was blue and on the other it was a beautiful green-blue, as if it were warm waters from the tropics. But don’t be fooled it was cold.
We were able to play in some snow that hadn’t melted from the ‘summer’ and we sat and had our lunch. Little did we realize that we weren’t even HALF was done yet. We still had the mother lode to climb. After lunch we continued onward and upward towards Besseggen ridge. Then we saw her and we all slowly realized that we had to climb her, Then we realized we actually had to CLIMB her, not hike up her or stroll up her but CLIMB the rocks with our hands as well as stepping with our feet! And it kept going up and up, we could see very VERY small people climbing along the top of her and we all balked at the idea of us going up there. But as we all knew inside we couldn’t go back and we couldn’t go around so we decided to go up and over. Always up and over.
Up and over.
Up and over.
Up and over.
Then we were at the long awaited and fought for top. You could see forever from up there, the sky was crisp and clear. The rocks were no longer so big but small. We had made it. The only down side was just that, the down side. We started our journey down the mountain. It was much less jolly, we had seen the beauty and now we were seeing . . . gravel, pebbles and some rocks. Gone was the beauty of the mountains with their snow and the lakes with their magic colours. It looked like Texas-flat without trees. I also decided if I put blinders on and looked down it looked just like the gravel road between my flat and the school building. Onward we trekked until we thought we were just about there, we could see the parking lot and had been able to see it for a long time. We come around the bend and there was a fence (the first one all day) and it held a sign that told us to go around that mini mountain. I thought I would muntiny from my legs and feet but I didn’t, I went around and down.
At last our 8 hour journey had come to an end. I loved it, I would go back and hope to camp out there eventually. The group arrived safe and sound but boy were we pooped. The beauty was amazing and most of the way up I kept thinking how amazing the God I serve is.
Start of the hike looking over at the lake.
The path down the mountain.
Looking back at the lake at the end of a long day.
Red ferns cover the field.
The ridge behind us is what we had to climb. . . yup that's right way up there. 1,743 meters or 5,718.5039 feet.