Snowhole to Skaidi. 65km 13hrs.
I slept surprisingly well in my snowhole… I say surprisingly because normally I associate them with getting up for night navigation such as on my winter ML and Mountain Guides assessment. Last night there was none of that shenanigans and I got a full 10hrs of sleep. 😴😀 This was definitely my motivated Monday and I was up early because by taking a slightly shorter day yesterday it meant that I had the bulk of the work to do today… 30km off track and then 35km on scooter tracks, all the way north to Skaidi. It has been one of the most memorable and faultless days of the entire journey… I’m so pleased to be able to say that… that Norway has saved some of the very best almost to the very end! To ski in such a wild, remote place with great snow conditions and unbeatable weather is a rare combination. A perfect opportunity to see the Finmarksvidda at it’s best. I have a good enough imagination to see how exposed this area is to ferocious maritime storms, and that it must have a brutal and deadly face that it could have shown… but it chose not to. Not to me, not at this time… I’ve skied across acres of shimmering untouched perfect snow… along the crest of rolling hills to the west of the Stabbursdalen which sprawled in a complicated network of forbidden valleys, dense birch forests and steep sides glens below. From cloud fire cast at dawn to ice rainbows circling the sun, snow waves, vast skies and endless winter horizons I finally emerge, weary but exhilarated, on the rollercoaster scooter descent trail to Skaidi. Sometimes it seems the harder I work the more I enjoy the day and the more nature reveals to me in return.
I love this sky above me with it’s endless forms and iridescent colours… and I’m going to miss having such a vast horizon that I’ve lived with these last months. An ever changing world of depth, colour and character. A soothing balm to the spirit and a muse for the imagination. Deep valleys have narrow skys and closed horizons… not here. Here the vast openness encourages you to look outward, to see beyond and to think yourself over the horizon. Something changed in the air today. It was almost as if I could taste salt in the air…
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