Tours › 2015 › Storulvån-Vålådalen › Summary


And warm it was! As it turned out not a single drop fell, and everything was markedly better than expected weather-wise, so I'm glad I went – and also glad that I delayed my departure to really hit the high-point. Furthermore I was glad that I had opted for the light pack, since it was quite warm enough even with only that load. Said load could have been lightened further by leaving both the rain clothes and the down jacket at home, but they are neither very heavy nor very spacious, and I was better safe than sorry – and as these things go, leaving them behind would probably have resulted in downpour and frost...

As reported, this warmth played havoc with the melting snow, or rather the resulting water, and I got a taste of a very belated spring flood. I have been out in similar conditions on a few occasions before, but never this late. Yet, there was less snow still in existence as such than I had expected, given early reports (from Gåsen in particular), but that was probably just as well, for the same reason. Instead summer was well underway – having just burst out, by local accounts – and I was treated to a vibrant show of life returning, with the last two days on the Vålådalen side nothing short of marvelous.

One reason I had gone for this exact route was that I wanted to check out the new Stensdalen cottage, having only seen the start of its construction myself. Now that I have I will happily confess that it is an impressive piece of work, with large solar panels providing ample power for lighting and payment systems, and the whole place is light and comfortable – but it is, quite frankly, bordering on being too comfortable-feeling, with the rooms and corridors looking more like a resort hotel than a rustic refuge in the middle of nowhere.

STF is in the process of renovating several of their other, older buildings here and there in the fjelds, and there is a growing backlash against the "cheap, modern IKEA feel" of the results thus far, with detractors bemoaning the loss of the "genuineness, charm and historical weight" of the old style, many expressing the sentiment that needed restoration work can and should be carried out with a lighter hand more conscious of what makes these places unique. It will be interesting to see what the future holds in this regard.

A secondary objective with the tour was to test my shiny new boots, the old ones having all but disintegrated towards the end of last summer's outing. As with most new pieces of equipment there's a breaking-in period, and even though I did get some sores and hurts in places – easily alleviated by adequate preparation and adaptive lace-tying – I have high hopes for their future. Function-wise they were stellar, and even though the water levels didn't allow for much fording in them they sure were a blessing to have on the various wet grounds.

So there. Again, I'm glad I went through with the tour, especially since there's since been rain and cold for several days right after my return, so it was really well-timed. As for the rest of summer, we shall see...



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