25th Anniversary Appeal Expedition: Day 77

Máze to Joatkajávri Fjellstue. 60km 11hrs.

Today I skied deep into the Finmarksvidda on windswept and silent scooter tracks. I’m back carrying all my gear so the rucksack is heavy but it’s impossible to worry too much about that when you have such amazing views! No mountains except in the far distance but more sky than land and such a feeling of open space… the sky feels so close that I could almost touch it with outstretched hand. So far I’m super lucky with the weather… I hope that stays with me for the next few days as it’s easy to see this place would be impossible and potentially deadly in a storm. The warmth of reception and food here at the fjellstue has been a wonderful restorative and they have helped me with local knowledge about a dirt hut or “gamma” I have to dig out of the snow in the Stabbursdalen tomorrow! They have had a lot of snow here this winter and if tomorrow proves too difficult I’ll have to head out to the road far to the west. Good news is that there’s so much snow the road has been closed… so I should be able to ski along that worst case scenario!


25-anniversary-expedition-day077

There’s something very special about setting due north on a compass. Every time I’ve done this on my journey it’s helped put a little more determination in my stride. This is the Finmarksvidda. Well part of it… and a compass is pretty useful not to end up skiing in circles even in good weather. That combined with where the sun is on my back… “vidda” means flat place in Norwegian, and yes, this gently undulating plateau lives up to it’s title. However, once you adjust your perspective it’s far from featureless. I’m fortunate to have had four almost perfect weather days to cross it. All 190km of it from Máze to Skaidi. I am very aware that under different circumstances, bad weather, poor visibility, strong winds, my traverse would not have been possible. I feel very fortunate, grateful for these amazing days… as someone following me suggested, perhaps someone out there is looking after me.


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