In Norwegian, Easter seems to be another word for skiing, so we headed up to meet Annamari and Katja in Tromsø once again. The forecast promised sunshine from blue skies, but I was uncertain how my wound from a recent tooth operation was healing, so I spent the first few days working. The others had already a day on Gråtinden behind them, so my suggestion for a short day was met without protest. We headed to Sørtinden, on the western shore of Kvaløya.
I managed to keep a slow pace the entire ascent and the tooth said nothing. The views were as expected too, so we took a cozy lunch break covered from the wind before topping out.
The run down was beautiful, but somewhat challenging, efter the first few soft turns. The sun was warm and the nights were cold, so lower down there was a somewhat annoying icy crust that couldn’t decide if it was going to hold or not.
Encouraged by the well healing surgery wound, we decided on a somewhat longer trip the next day. Our goal was Istinden, in the heart of Ringvassøya.
The theory was that a south facing slope would be properly softened by the hot sun, but our late start and the cover from the surrounding mountains forced us to ascend a relatively steep and icy slope just before crossing the glacier to the final slopes of Istinden.
The last part up the col to the shoulder of Istinden was steep and all of us had to carry our skies / splitboard the final part.
After switching to down-mode it took a few more minutes to gather courage before we actually started to head down. The snow had again an ever so slight crust and the skies seemed determined to sneak under it whenever given the slightest chance. And yes, I gave the skies plenty of chances for that!
All in all, it was an exciting ride down. Not the least because the somewhat icy crust on the steep slope before the glacier had frozen solid to a hard and really slippery icey crust that didn’t invite gaining speed the slightest.
After an involuntary rest day (I forgot the skins at Annamari’s after a somewhat stressfull morning), we decided to end our “Topptur” Easter with Saltdalstinden. This time the theory was that a bit higher and north facing slopes wouldn’t have been exposed to the sun, hence wouldn’t have the icky icy crust.
The opposit argument, that south facing slopes lower down would be icy, certainly seemed to hold true. However, after leaving them behind we got into some lovely soft snow, altough a bit of a white out as well. Luckily the mist started to clear relatively soon and revealed a really nice scenery.
A Norwegian team was already on the top, but seemed to be in no hurry to head down.
We passed by another nameless peak without old tracks and Annamari and Katja decided to switch plans to it instead. Before me and Anne had figured out what to do, the Norwegians from the top had come down and eyed eagarly the untouched snow Annamari and Katja was heading for. A bit of a race took place and it didn’t take long before all of us was on top of the other peak.
At least three from the Norwegian team of four seemed set on gaining first tracks, while the fourth seemed to have enough on her plate just to get up and down in one piece.
No matter, the three Norwegians took first tracks, but me and Anne got to enjoy our own untouched snow non the less. Anne even demonstrated a skiing reindeer.
However, Annamari and Katja were in no rush and seemed suspiciously pleased with everyone else riding down. Me and Anne had so much fun that we decided to top out the original goal as well and on the way up it soon become clear what Annamari and Katja were waiting for.
An untouched and direct line down! NICE! Me and Anne were perfectly happy to get some more meters to reach the original summit thou.
On the top we met another Norwegian team consisting of four ladies, who knew to tell us that this was the best Easter in Tromsø in nine years. No reason not to smile. 🙂
Back at Annamari’s we enjoyed some well deserved beer on the balcony. Actually, we did that after each day, well deserved or not.
So, thank you once more, Annamari and Katja for a perfect Easter holiday! The fact that they had moved in the same day we arrived was hardly noticable and ceirtainly not something I remember now a week afterwards. 🙂