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Thread: Norway

  1. #1
    ‹bermensch
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    I have the beginnings of an idea of trekking the Troms Border Trail and/or other routes in (probably)September. Spent 3 weeks in the Rondane/Tafjord/Jotunheimen areas in May/June last year, so have an idea what that part is like, at least (and many thanks to those who answered questions on my posting about that, too). Have been perusing Connie Roos's guidebook...

    What would the northern areas be like later in September? I assume there are summer bridges there, too - when do they get taken down? Any other tips or points to be aware of? Would axe or crampons be needed at all? I guess not on the trail, but what about if I venture into the higher hills en-route? I may be alone, but am fairly experienced in mountains, year-round. Would probably camp.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    ‹bermensch
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    I have been in Lapland, twice in September and once in July. I prefer the former. No midnight sun but no nasty insects and plenty of autumn colours. Only had one day of snow.

  3. #3
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I've only done one 'summer' trip to Norway and that was in early September to the Trollheimen region, so much further south than you're considering. I got periods of snow showers (but not very heavy) most days and overnight temperatures down to -5. So by that time of year summer is definitely over. The Norwegians consider the summer season to end mid-late August, so many DNT huts will have closed (or be operating as self-service) and other infrastructure may shut down too - of course that may not be an issue for you.

    I can't help specifically on the bridges, or axe and crampons that far north, but Peter is certainly correct about the autumn colours and the nasty bitey insects!

  4. #4
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    I did the Border Troms route as part of my 'The length of Norway' walk in 2002. I went through in late august. No problems with weather then, though summer was definitely over and the Autumn colours were fantastic. I did have problems on Finnmarksvidda a couple of weeks later with heavy rain and gales almost all the time, with snow down to about 500 m by the middle of the month.

    The huts in the Troms area are 'unserviced' i.e have all facilities but no food. You're unlikely to meet many folk after the end of August, but the huts are still available (DNT key).

    If you go, I strongly advise a visit to Reisadal (just east of the Finnish 'panhandle') - a glorious gorge with huge waterfalls. You can walk in from NW Finland, or go in from Nordreisa on the E6. You might even be able to get a boat to take you up the river.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Rob, I'm looking at exactly the same trail for Sep 2009!

    Conclusions from my research so far is that should be low on bugs, reasonable weather (apparently the North tends to get settled weather often in Autumn). So far have only unearthed one report of a trip there in Sep, which was late Sep (20/23?) and the weather was fine, pics showing snow on summits but not at trail level.

    Only report I could find of the Troms Border Trail (apart from in the Cicerone book) is in Italian!

    There's a bus service to the Northern end from Tromso,but from Innset in the South it looks like it's a hitch (or taxi) to the nearest town with a bus service?

    BTW if you haven't already got the bookmark, there are online topo maps for Norway here-- very useful for planning.

    If you find any useful online info in English do let us know!

  6. #6
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    May I suggest that rather than starting (or finishing) at Innset, with the access problems mentioned by Zubald, you start (or finish) at Abisko in Sweden where there's rail access both to Narvik and east into Sweden. 2 days extra walk, but well worth it. The views over the T√łrnatrask lake from the area around the border are world class.

  7. #7
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    I also am thinking of doing it next year - North to South ending at Abisko and then if time permits a couple of days in the Abisko NP.

  8. #8
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Great idea about Abisko, thanks! Has anyone found online maps of Sweden that are better than Google and streetmap.com (ie topo maps)?

    Later: answered my own question. Topo maps of the W/NW area of Sweden are availabe to view online here:

    http://butiken.metria.se/dkny/produc...ducts_id=18728

    They have a "watermark" on but it's perfectly feasible tocopy and paste stuff together. The path to the road into Abisko is marked clearly on these maps.

  9. #9
    Ultra King Peter Clinch's Avatar
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    To check whether bridges etc. will be deployed I'd ask the DNT, since it's typically their (or one of their affiliates) trail crews that will be rolling things up. Probably a good general source of info too.

    if you're not a DNT member and plan on spending much time trekking in Norway then it's probably worth joining if you'll be using any of their huts. The break even point is about 3 nights in DNT huts (plus many private huts give discount to members).

    Pete.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    About bridges etc. DNT in Oslo won't know. They'll redirect you toTroms Turlagwho maintain the huts and paths in this region.

    One wee tip. If crossing the border to/from Abisko. Pålnostugan hut in Sweden was a tip in 2002 - poorly maintained and filthy. Lappjordhytta in Norway, just over the border was the usual Norwgian luxury.

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    Another wee tip. There's a superb private hostel at Björkliden, much friendlier than the baarracks of an STF hut/hotel at Abisko.

  12. #12
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Jim: thanks for all the tips and info! As far as bridges are concerned I'm assuming that I'll need to do a number ofriver crossings. I hear that Norwegian river crossings can be a bit hairier than Scottish ones!

    BTW, did you see much wildlife on your trip? Reindeer I guess (semi-domestic of course); what about bear, lynx, wolf? From what I can find the chances of seeing any of these would be very slim although theoretically they are there.

  13. #13
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    I saw lots of wildlife at many places, but not all that much in the Troms area in fact. My general experience was that areas with many summer walkers were poor in wildlife - and lots of folk walk the 'Nordkullotten' (Northern Cap) in July and August, including quite a lot of commercial guided groups who fill the huts then.

    I didn't even see many reindeer in Troms although I did see many farther south in Sweden and on Finnmarks vidda. I learned why. During the summer, the Norwegian Saami move their reindeer out of the mountains and onto coastal islands. They move them back during September, which is why I saw many reindeer on Finnmarksvidda. The Swedes keep their animals on the hills during the summer.

    I saw the prints of both lynx and wolf, but not the animals themselves. Lynx in particular are very shy. There aren't many bears in Norway - many more in the forests of Sweden and Finland farther east. Lots of elks (what the Americans call moose) and some wolverines and arctic foxes. Great birdlife, though, including a family of four sea eagles perched on posts at the side of the road just south of Nordkapp. And one snowy owl, again on Finnmarksvidda.

  14. #14
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    This is brilliant - many thanks for all the posts so far - really useful. I'll be interested to see the answer re river crossings...

    Zubald - re wildlife, we were lucky enough to see a wolverine last year, ran across in front of the car as we drove down from Galdhoppigen (sp?). Apparently extremely rarely sighted. I wonder if these are to be found further north?

  15. #15
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    River crossings! I can't remember whether there are summer bridges in the Troms border area or not. Check with Troms Turlag. Even if there are, not all rivers are bridged and wading will be necessary. How difficult it is depends very much on how wettheweatherhas been shortly before. I got a spell of dry hot weather and none of the rivers in Troms were more than boulder hopping, unlike farther south in e.g. B√łrgefjell where I had to cross some serious rivers. But I believethe Troms riverscan be serious too after a wet spell.

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    Jim, many thanks, as ever!

    Rob

  17. #17
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    Zubald, would you be able to send a link to the report you mentioned, please? Can anyone suggest what the night temparatures may drop to- and likely day temperatures? I'm wondering whether to take just ultrafleece trousers, or if these might be too hot. Can I assume threaded gas cylinders (Coleman type)are available in Tromso? What chance of seeing the Northern Lights in Sept? I've spent very many weeks in Scotland, mostly in winter, but still not seen them. Trips to Iceland and Norway were in May/June, so not much chance then! But the long days made up for it.

    Jim - did you ever write up your long trip? I'd be interested to read it - not that I'm envious of course...

    Very many thanks to all,

    Rob

  18. #18
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    Re Northern Lights. You will be fairly close to the auroral zone, so you've a fairly good chance of seeing them if they occur at all. We're still in a period of relatively quiet sun, so in 5 years time or so, you would be almost guaranteed to see them.

    Re: writing up my long trip. I have a book manuscript that I've been hawking round the publishers but until now no-one has accepted it. It is currently in review with yet another publisher, so, here's hoping.

    Temperatures etc. As I said, I had strong winds and heavy rain on Finnmarksvidda in September. No accommodation there for days at a time, so tent was soaking and clothing damp. After a couple of days, my hands were always cold (unusually for me), but I didn't think much about it until I found myself heading rapidly down into hypothermia, in a temp of +2 or 3, driving rain and high winds. I took that more seriously. On the other hand, it might be warm. I was wandering about in just a pair of shorts on southern Finnmarksvidda in the last week of August.

    If you get cold and wet conditions, I recommend staying in the huts. You get dried out every night and can move about without getting soaked - a great boost psychologically.

    Don't know about gas. I used a Trangia and the Norwegian version of meths - r√łdsprit (say ridspreet) is available almost everywhere.

  19. #19
    ‹bermensch Jim Chalmers's Avatar
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    Re: More info about my Norway walk. At the time I did it, Dave Hewitt was writing his blog (though we didn't call them that in those days) on Scotland Online. He wrote 4 stories about me that are still available on the archive here, here, here and here

  20. #20
    ‹bermensch Chris OutdoorsGrubcouk's Avatar
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    Rob,

    Here's some links I found useful. The first one is the Italian description (email me if you want a first-pass rough translation into English).

    http://www.thuler.net/diari_view.php?id=95

    http://www.turistforeningen.no/troms...693&ar_id=9897

    http://www.luontoon.fi/page.asp?Section=8304&Item=11131

    http://viajarapie.info/routes/europe..._logistics.htm

    For early September in Tromso (colder inland?), daytime temp10 Centigrade, night temp7 Centigrade. Sunrise5am to 5:30am. Sunset8:30pm to 8pm. Rain10cm for the month. I'm working on Scottish April weather but hopefully drier.

    Info I've seen online says canister gas is widely available. There seem to be at least two outdoor-type shops in Tromso. Maybe Troms Turlag will have useful info?

    I'm planning to camp, mainly as I don't want to be tied to hut locations and partly as I actually like being alone on a walk!

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