It was only a few hours ago we were nocturnal skiing beneath the luna of Norge, mopping up the last of Stian’s troll blood flask. After sleeping in for ten minutes then consuming a large Norwegian hut breakfast (my preferences: fresh bread loaded with jam, eggs and meat, washed down with coffee and juice) I was recovered enough to accompany the crew for a last summit in the Jotunheimen (I’ll be meeting Lisa after this and doing another week in Norway, but in other areas).
This morning we’re still at Leirvassbu Mountain Lodge, that Norwegian paradise where you can cover your eyes, point, and you’ll be picking out another peak to ski or another waffle to consume. In this case, we needed a peak that would circle us around to the car parking area. Choice: Stetinden, a pretty arete with a sharp rocky summit and couloir system that could yield something for everyone.
In case anyone is trip planning and seeing these blog posts, know that the private toll road up Leirdalen valley to Leirvassbu parking is easy to find. When driving Route 55 from Lom towards Sogndal, you take a left turn at 26 km from Lom Centre. If you’re driving from Sogndal you take a right about 16 km after passing over the highpoint of the road. Combine those directions with a GPS and finding the road should be easy. The toll road is plowed by the lodge owners in early spring, and appears to be quite an exceptional amenity for access to skiing even if you don’t use it to reach the lodge. We saw a few tent groups using the road in exactly that way.
BONUS FEATURE — NORWEGIAN SANDWICH FOLDING TECHNIQUES
Norway is slowly being modernized; they have plastic bags for sandwiches at some lodges. But the tradition of wrapping food in paper refuses to die, and for good reason. A sandwich in plastic tends to get soggy, so use paper that can breathe through the seams and your sando remains intact for enthusiastic consumption. The locals have some slick ways of getting the wrap to stay without tape. We tried to imitate with mixed results. Check out a few images of the process.
By the way, a few thank yous are in order for the Jotunheimen portion of my Norway trip. First to Stian Hagen for arranging the whole thing, including a bunch of hosting that made it affordable. Not only is Stian an accomplished pro skier, but he’s also a qualified guide who’s quite got it together. Nice to get to know him. Also kudos to Marker-Volkl as well as Spiterstulen and Leirvassbu. Also thanks to the “boys” for having the seasoned mountain man along, and to Toby for the ride to Oppdal. More blog posts coming, with new people and some shifts in focus.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.