A WINTER RECONNAISSANCE - MARCH 2012


Well, referring to the above title it's about some idiots who were taken in
because the first birds suggested that spring had come ;)

The beginning of March 2012, it's beautiful weather in Oslo which means no snow,
the birds are singing and everything is coming back to life.

How to sit calmly when everything around shows that winter is over...!!!
There’s a need to go and see the situation by the river. If it’s possible to run out in a t-shirt in Oslo
then maybe spring will come quicker in the mountains..:)

We’re on our way!!!
Like each year, our backpacks are minimally packed. We set off to visit "a base" and also to see how the spring
is faring against the winter. As seen on the photos, unfortunately it's going slow. I'm losing my enthusiasm seeing
more than 1m high snowbanks. I was taken in again like each year.

It doesn't matter, we have to find "a base" and face this uphill struggle.
It's some disaster for me as it's the biggest effort I undertake voluntarily each year :)
Going 5 km uphill, in snow which hasn't been visited by anyone for 5 months takes me about 2,5 h
*for fit people in better condition - about 1,5h* [...]
With each step I sink waist-deep into snow because of the extra 20kg on my back.
At half way every year for the last 5 years I’ve said that it's my last trip.

Two pictures below were taken on the way back that's why you can see the tracks (left by me 2 days ago).
I'm done but carry on and just complain and pant with fatigue although the views are beautiful
and I could take pictures all the time.

 


When you reach the base you have to spend 1h shovelling to get to the door up a terrace and to the toilet.
We also have to get the fireplace going to warm the old beams in the walls.
Maybe we will be lucky and the air temperature won't go below -20 degrees...
 
...later just relaxing and long discussions about past and future fishing trips :)







In such a beautiful setting the frost is not that bad.





The next morning when drinking my coffee I noticed some big, fresh tracks 30m in front of the house...



Obviously, I ran to check who these tracks belong to... I was betting on an elk, or a rabbit but I was a bit shocked
when I saw a fresh imprint of a big paw with long and sharp claws!

I've no idea what it was bit I'm sure it hadn’t fed on the young sprouts jutting out of the snow.

I guessed the smell of a barbecue woke up a bear.
Actually, the locals see the bears each year. I hesitated for a while but curiosity got the better of me and I followed its trail.
I didn't have to go far. As I entered the forest I saw dug up snow under which were the remains of an elk.
I guess some bear hunted him in autumn and now hunger forced him to visit his larder.

On the other hand, it could also be the wolverine. It's an animal which lives in northern Scandinavia.
It doesn't go into hibernation. It feeds mostly on carrion. It collects food in tunnels under the snow
and comes back to it sometimes even after 6 months.

We can just speculate as opinions differ. The pictures don't show much ;)









As you can see the river is running free!!! We just have to wait till the snow melts and it gets a bit warmer.
Then we can start fishing :):):)









3 weeks afterwards I decided to go there once again...it's already a bit better!