Nordlandsruta: Kvitsteindalstunet to Umbukta Fjellstue, the end.

The realisation that I was running low on food as well as other happenings had been playing in my mind for a couple of days as was the realisation that I really wanted a rest day or 2 and my current plan did not allow for it. You could say I was tired of the rain, suffering from lack of “the right food” though I did not feel hungry and perhaps “had bitten off more than I could chew”. So I had reached a point where I was seriously questioning my ability to complete the planned trip. Especially as Umbukta provided an ideal finishing point. I think I had already decided that I had had enough, but somehow I hoped that my mood/mind would change when I reached the fjellstue.

These thoughts were on my mind as I commenced the climb from Kvitsteindalstunet. I suppose my mood was not helped by starting a climb from 600 m which took me to a high point of 800 m before descending again to 600m and then climbing to 1100 m.

The first climb was okay and provided views towards Sweden and Umvatnet. Every time I looked across at Sweden, I wondered how Mark was going. As I began to climb towards the saddle I felt a pain in my right leg (around my shin) possibly caused by yet another slip on what seemed like an innocuous part of the trail. Whilst climbing the pain was not that bad and only became noticeable when I began to descend.

Eerie light over Kallatvatnet

The climb up into the saddle was fairly straightforward across the wet rocks, with the ever present wind and mist, the views to the north to Kallvatnet, with purple grey light on the clouds made me wonder what was to come. Was I really heading to Mordor?

I wandered off the marked trail as I sought a route that would avoid the necessity for climbing a soft snow covered bank. After skirting the snow I chose a route which I hoped, and did, take me to the trail at the top of the saddle which from where I could then descend to the hytta. As I descended I realised that my right shin was very sore and each step was painful, but I needed to continue. Ultimately I arrived at Sauvasshytta and immediately let myself in and set about changing clothes, and cooking dinner. The wind continued to blow and the moisture continued to drop from the sky. I did not get a fire going in the hytte but was comfortably warm and dry. I once again felt that this area was very nice and wanted to return in better weather, possibly next year.

Inside looking out Sauvasshytta

While the wind and mist swirled outside I relaxed in the comfort of the hytte and settled down for what would be my last night on the trail. The following morning the weather was unchanged and the descent across wet rocks and muddy plains began. My right leg was less sore when I started, but gradually became worse the further I walked, it seemed to me that I would need a couple of days rest for it to be less painful.

Morning outside Sauvasshytta

I began the hike down to Umbukta crossing another bridge, the girders were attached to the rocks, but …
Bridge next to Sauvasskardet

The walk again was pleasant as I wound my way down through open plains with the Sauvassåga river below. After passing over a high point the trail then drops steeply through forest to  the river and then the road. I arrived at the Fjellstue, dripping with water and was reluctant to enter because I was so wet.

However, I did enter and was given a warm welcome and said I could stay in the small stugby.

Dripping as I walked in I removed all the wet gear and entered what would be my home for the night.
If you are ever in the neighbourhood I can strongly recommend Unmbukta Fjellstue, the staff are friendly and helpful the food in the restaurant is enjoyable as is the beer (albeit expensive). My food parcel was there when I arrived and I did feel somewhat annoyed that I would be packing it to bring home, though it did mean I would have plenty of food for a few trips to come.

The following morning one of the staff drove me to Mo i Rana (the bus does not run during school holidays) 40 km away and I caught the train to Trondheim. The train trip was very pleasant, it is a 7 hour trip but you pass through some beautiful mountain scenery and the time passed quickly, I can recommend the train trip.

Arriving in Trondheim is what onto another hotel and then a flight hime the following day.

REFLECTIONS

I learnt a lot on this trip, whilst I have experienced worse conditions over the years it was this trip that coalesced a number of experiences into a realisation of what works for me.

These include;
What type of shelter I prefer.
What type and how much food I need.
How far I can walk in such conditions (In other words don’t over estimate).
Look carefully at the route plan especially the ascent and descent.
Plan rest days, and take them.
Most importantly it must be enjoyable.

I was very happy that I had undertaken this route, whilst it was challenging I also found it enjoyable with the variety of landscapes, and the open plains, especially in the later section. I will be back

This entry was posted in M.Zuiko 40-150 mm, M.ZUIKO 9-18mm, Nordlandsruta, Norway, Olympus E-P2. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Nordlandsruta: Kvitsteindalstunet to Umbukta Fjellstue, the end.

  1. AlanR says:

    Challenges are what makes us who we are. Great stuff to read whilst I am sat in my armchair.

  2. Mark Roberts says:

    Well, it's a shame you had to cut it short, but the weather looked pretty sucky, and with a gammy leg…On the whole though, it looked like a good trip with lots of space to wander and room to think. And a fine selection of bridges.

  3. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks for stopping by Alan, the trip was challenging, not helped by the weather, but it was also enjoyable and really helped me determine my future hiking priorities up north. Now all i need is to find the time.

  4. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Mark, yeah the weather was possibly the worst (as in persistently wet) that I have experienced up there, but you could say I have been lucky up till now. The leg took a week or so to fully recover so I think continuing would have prolonged the healing process. Certainly a good trip and there are some places I want to take a little more time to visit and enjoy.

  5. A shame you had to cut it short, but I know you to always err to the side of caution. Great report, reminds me that I owe two reports on my own blog from Stevns and Hærvejen. See you soon.

  6. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Niels, erring on the side of caution is perhaps the best description. But it is a nice area, and I am heading back there next summer.

  7. Karl says:

    The pain in you right leg and the circumstances at which it showed itself sounds like a "classic" shin splint to me.Unfortunately, it's something you cannot do much about during the hike itself apart from resting. Fortunately, you can avoid it by doing more training to strengthen the area.

  8. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Karl, you probably correct, it did heal within a week or so, what surprised me was its sudden occurrence, as there had been no pain in previous days. I will investigate the correct exercises for the area.

  9. Jerker says:

    HiWe are couple that have been inspired of your blog – of your doings and reflections.We also were to Norway this august and went up by bike from E6 and by feet upon snøhetta and slept in an homemade stoney eaglenest (had to take a shelter there bellow the top and not in the nice weather we ordered) Things change fast – and thats is even nicer. I have a question for you that I think you can help us with.We are into the Aarn concept. Either the Magic50,, the Featherlite oir the Balance. Three sizes and al of them with balance pockets. Now we see that have used HMG rucksacks, and we wonder way? Have you found something better and do you not feel that the balancething is a big deal? We would very much like to hear your reflections and your thought about this.all the bestJerker-Sweden

  10. nielsenbrown says:

    Thanks Jerker for your questions. I like the Aarn concept for heavy loads but I try to carry light loads and feel that the HMG packs work well for me when loads are less than 20 kg. However, for a long trip where the load is 20 kg plus then I would carry the Natural Balance. I do feel that the Aarn packs are well designed and carry well but to some extent are also over engineered and thus heavier than they need to be. I would love to have an Aarn featherlite that weighed around kilogram, as for me it would be the ideal pack. And yes I like the balance concept but am not sure I use the packs in the way that they are designed. Hope this helps.

  11. Jerker says:

    Thank youa lotAs we can not try them in realIt is hard to tell for our selvesYour opinion is one thing to consider for usWe have also thought in similar pathsBut we thought also that the extra weight might becompensated by the balanced carryingWe use Granite gear Vapor trail since some yearsand a larger Golite OddyseeWe never carry more than 15 kiloand we are also into ultralightBut the principle of balancing the weight attracts us very muchStill we can not afford to buy something we will not useThankful for your thoughts/Jerker

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