25th Anniversary Appeal Expedition: Day 76

25-anniversary-expedition-day076Kautokeino to Máze. 72km 10hrs.

One of my reasons for taking a rest day yesterday was what was coming up next… the Finmarksvidda. I needed to get to Máze first. With no accommodation options in between that meant a big leap of 72km on scooter trails. My eyes widened as I swallowed that thought… not impossible of course, I’ve done longer skis in a day but not after so many other big days! A road links the two communities so my host kindly arranged for my surplus food and overnight gear to be delivered to the cabin at Masi. This made my rucksack significantly lighter and my day much more enjoyable. I left at dawn, first along the river northwards, while everything was still and silent. The river snaked along the wide valley bottom in big loops. After two hours I left it following the old road west onto the plateau. Without the weight in my pack I could diagonal stride easily which was wonderful. The snow was cold, powdery and I’m still on blue wax. Up on the plateau the terrain gently undulates, perfect for settling into a rhythm in classic. I have a routine of skiing for two hours then stopping to eat, drink, adjust layers and then continue. Around midday in the sun, without the wind it’s actually quite warm and I can ski without overboots and duvet jacket for the first time since January! The kms slipped by almost effortlessly and I reached an old fjellstue Binghis after 54km still feeling pretty good. I was invited in to sit by the fire and warm up before continuing to Masi. Cruising those last kms in the afternoon sunshine did start to take its toll… I’ve learnt that even scooter tracks can have prodigious moguls and I’ve not yet decided if these are worse in ascent or descent! The weather is on my side still with very light winds, and when they do blow it’s at my back pushing me along. I was very happy to reach Masi and be reunited with my food supply (and to sit down 😂) now the Finmarksvidda proper looms on the horizon!

What 72km skiing does to you…


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