Molladalen – What is Next?
They say Norway is renowned among the lands of ‘midnight sun’ because in some parts of the country, the sun never sets for the whole summer. But what happens in the beginning of the autumn?
Even more, what happens when you are hiking in the beginning of the unstable Norwegian autumn? But even more, how is this seen through the eyes of a foreign hiker amongst 19 Norwegian speakers? Let’s have a closer look at what three days of living in one of the Norwegian mountains look like and how we dealt with the unpredictable.
1 st day – Friday
The sun is shining on our 4PM way to Ørsta and the endless English conversations in the car seem to not be bounded, so that by the time all five cars arrived at the mountain base, we did not feel the time flying by or even the coldness approaching. All 20 of us settled with heavy 60L+ rucksacks clutched on our backs and ready to start, first instructions are given in Norwegian and no translation for me – I suppose I should still be fine. In the worst scenario, these 2 hours will mean just following others. But as we all know, time is almost never planned correctly and therefore, instead of 2 hours, it took us 3 and a half to get to the Base Camp (824m) near Storevatnet lake, where we planted our tents, with heavy raindrops wetting all our clothing and tenting.
NB1: Always put everything in plastic bags inside your rucksack – and, if possible, your rucksack.
The trail started steep from the very beginning and it was unavoidable to climb on muddy ground and slippery rocks to get to the first summit, where two greenish lakes were guarding the bay. On the way, I learnt about the Reindeer Moss and Norway’s wild reindeers.
We kept on walking quicker until darkness settled and the crepuscular view partly blinded our path by the trail finale, but we ended up successfully planting our tents and preparing dinner inside the attic. My soggy clothes, socks and shoes hanged above the gas fire, while hot food and the thermal sleeping bag compensated for the cold.
2 nd day – Saturday
Early morning, sun was hidden behind the gray clouds and only tiny rain yet. 9AM and the only rescuer from cold was the hot, pure coffee (that never tasted better) which made me feel immune to the raindrops.
NB2: Always have hot coffee.
We were ready to leave for Mohns Topp and Bladet – one of the main climbing destinations of the Molladalen area, a ‘blade’-shaped pinnacle – when it fell into rain. My helmet was bound to the small backpack and we were hiking toward the peak, through rain and wind. We were given indications on how to avoid falling rocks and we started climbing on stiff and slippery rocks, between sheer cliffs touched by water – without any ropes.
NB3: Always wear resistant, waterproof and comfortable trampers.
When we took a break and turned our heads toward the sky, we noticed a blue crack where a glaring rainbow would spring from. Seen from 1400m height, it looked even more blazing. Through the fog, we could barely see 10 meters in front of us, but in a glimpse of clarity, we noticed the Bladet behind the mountain, on an icy snow segment. Stepping carefully on this –slipping meant sliding on 200m of snow and falling in emptiness–, we made it to the Bladet, which almost everyone climbed, including me who only climbed 2 times before. ‘No rain, no pain’ since a few of us continued climbing on the Mohns Topp, where me and two girls took large leaps from one cliff to another with the guides’ help. Sadly, the view was obstructed by the fog and we only lived the happiness of knowing we are there.
NB4: Always check the weather forecast beforehand.
NB5: Never trust it completely.
The evening came and we started a campfire, where everyone gathered, laughed and felt good after a proud day. Morning coffee still tasted best in the rain and by the end of the trip, I became a different person, who more than ever was ready to hike again, even if back to our cars. I can only say it was a hell of a ride and if you’d be asking me to do it again, I would never hesitate to say yes.
Lots of love and admiration – Irina.