In all we covered about 71km in about two and a half days. The trip from the UK was uneventful once I’d negotiated airport security. Obviously taking backpacking gear through as hand baggage must have looked a bit odd to the security personnel. The fingertip search of my baggage took ages. Once in Norway the bus transfer and train journeys went without a hitch and after meeting Andy at Oslo train station we were soon on our way to the former mining town of Kongsberg a hour or so west of Oslo by train. Our route on the afternoon of Day 0 took us from Kongsberg, ascending through the foothills and ski resort west of the town to our first camp about an hour west of the DNT Knutteshytta mountain hut. After struggling to find suitable sticks to support our tarptents we found a wonderfully picturesque but slightly marginal camping spot next to a small tarn (pictured above). Day 1 dawned bright and generally clear and we hit the rough trail early for a long day tramping through undulating sodden bogs and sparse woods. It made for interesting hiking – especially as the conditions underfoot and the surroundings were quite unfamiliar. Around lunchtime we passed the DNT Selsli hut and then spent the afternoon descending through woods, then managed forests, to the tiny resort village of Boljeskø. During the early evening we climbed back up the other side of the valley and camped high on the shoulder of the foothills of Blefjell. The sun was blazing by the end of the day and it was welcome to have opportunity to air the sleeping bags before a brew, some dinner and a surprisingly good sleep.
Day 2 started with great pillows of cloud crowding the sky. We broke camp as the wind whipped up and the sky darkened. Before long the rain started. Conditions in Norway can change quickly even in August and we hunkered down, climbing steadily as the wind blew and the rain fell. We summitted Blefjell early which was our high point of the walk at 1342m. We pressed on knowing that we had a long day ahead of us.
By lunchtime the worst of the weather system had blown through and the winds eased considerably. Before long the sun started to shine and our pace, which had been quite slow on the way up Blefjell, increased. We sped north along the ridge which forms the spine of the range. Descending passed the DNT hut at Eriksbu the sun was beating down as afternoon drew on to evening. We kept hiking hours longer than my tired legs would have liked as we had a bus to catch at 9.30 the next morning. The campsite again was slightly marginal. We pitched our tarptents on a bluff adjacent to a silted up glacial lake among pine trees, enormous ants and biting midges. The walking on Day 3 was a brief descent through woods and meadows and the sparse settlement of Djupdal before hitting the main road from Geilo to Kongsberg. The bus arrived on time which was great as there was no plan B – no other bus would have got me to the train station in time to make my connection to the airport.
- I always enjoy trips that seem a bit improbable during the planning stages but then actually reach fruition such as our trip to Norway in 2010 Grampians - April 2011