Friday morning I unzipped my tent, looked outside and found
myself at the beginning of a beautiful day at the feet of the highest peaks in
Norway. The goal of the day was Galdhøgpiggen at 2469 metres.

The mountain is approachable from two sides, starting either
at Spiterstulen (1.103 metres) or at Juvasshytta (1840 metres). The Spiterstulen
trek to the top takes you 4 hours or so and it’s a fair walk all the way to the
top. From Juvasshytta you face the glacier Styggebreen and in order to summit
this alternative route you better line up with a group of people led by a
glacier guide.

I packed my backpack, made myself a little snack and threw
my camp in the car. I reached Juvasshytta at 9 and at 10 there was a guide
available to take me safely over the glacier. I of course chose the alternative
route as I hadn´t been on a glacier for a long time. And I must say I chose
wisely:

Guide Vidar and his little dog briefed the troop on
equipment, how and how not to do before we went up. The trek to the glacier was
an easy stroll on icy rocks, approx an hour. At the glacier, we lined up and
went one by one. Walking the line. There were a lot more crevasses than I´d
imagined in advance and the camera went loco.

It was a cheerful troop and the atmosphere was great! As we
had crossed the glacier, the steeper ascent to the top was the third and last
part left. As I used to be a tour guide in my earlier days, I took on the role of walking up last, motivating
the people who where behind, who had lost motivation and/or strength. It´s amazing how good friends
one make just by sharing some chocolate.

Well on top the view was stunning. The highest spot, the
roof of Norway. Blue skies, sunshine.. Perfect conditions. And I was served a glass
of champagne (not that this is common in the Norwegian mountains.. but I
luckily knew the owner of the company that celebrated its 30th
anniversary up on the top that very day.) A to-be-repeated thing to do –
champagne on top. Fantastic!

(I am publishing many more pictures in the gallery. Check
out the NORWAY album on
www.gallery.vagablond.no )

I drove to Lom after returning from the top and decided to
camp on a camp site with facilities. Shower, sauna..

In advance of my trip I was excited to travel in Norway – as
its part of my rediscovering thing I´ve been doing this summer. I spoke loudly
about how great it is to travel in a country where I don´t have language problems,
its 0.00001 % chance of bad food, hence bad stomach, the water is clean and
available everywhere, the transport system is comprehensive and somewhat
effective, routes are marked and I feel generally very safe. Too safe maybe?

Well, first of all I must admit that I never got into the
sought-after sauna. The lady at the reception told me about ladies hour and
gents hours and I was excited to find out ladies hours was just 10 mins away
when I arrived Lom.

I quickly set up the tent, put on a bikini and ran to the sanitary
facilities in a towel, across the camp site.

I was about to open the door to the sauna as a giant of a
Danish tourist came out with just a tiny cloth in front of his Danish crown. “Gents
hour” he said.. saving me from the embarrassment to walk into a sauna full of
naked, male campers.

I went back up to the reception and the lady just repeated
what she´d said previously:

“Fra att
med klokkjo sju e det førbehølle dama” (heavy Lom dialect) I had understood “Fra
og med klokka sju er det forbeholdt
damer”.

So so.. so much for the problemfree travelling with regards
to language problems. And that in my mother tongue!

I had dinner with two French couples in the camper kitchen,
instant noodles and a lot of new French vocabulary. J´adore les Norvegiennes
too by the way. I went to the tent and fell asleep with the plan of doing
another mountain the day after.

Sometime during the night I woke up. Usually I don´t, and I
was disturbed by the fact that I woke up. I checked the time 03:45. Still 2 hrs
15 till I was supposed to get up.

I turned around and pulled the sleeping back halfway over my
head. It was freezing. As I closed my eyes I heard someone. Someone coming
closer. Someone stopping just outside my tent…

I supposed someone was another camper (a person from one of the 3 camper vans
or the 1 single, other tent on the field). Maybe a camper who didn´t recognize
his tent?

But then again, hey: there were only two tents on the field and the other
tent was bright blue (not green like mine) and 3 x the size..

Someone stopped.

Someone listened.

Someone freaked me out. I froze in my sleeping bag.

Blair witch.. July 22nd. I was terrified. And
alone.

Someone walked around the tent, 4-5 times, looking for the
entrance, so it seemed.

Someone turned into something!

The sound of scratching
paws on the canvas. I died. Almost.

At least I acted dead in my sleeping bag. I
am sure I didn´t breath for two hours.

Lom is known for its wildlife. Bears and
wolves. Great choice of camping I thought as I imagined the headlines in the
local newspaper the day after: “Vagablond going “Little Red Riding Hood”; eaten
by wolves!”
or “Bear – Female camper 1:0”

Something didn´t manage the zipper and disappeared at some
point. I caught my breath. Sigh.. Relieved.

I had now 15 mins left of my night and fell asleep of emotional
exhaustion. I woke up and as I pulled all my guts together and unzipped the tent
I found lots of animal prints on the frozen canvas.The paw print was the size of my fist..

For your information: I will never go to sleep in a tent
ever again without a saber, a machete or a gun. Or a co-camper…

Anyways, at 07:00 sharp I hit the roads and drove 2 hours to
reach a boat that would take me from Gjendesheim to Memurubu. For those of you
who have been there, you know the route: The world-famous Besseggen tour. Besseggen
is a ridge that enables great view over the waters Gjende and BessvatnetOne of
the unique aspects of the view is that Gjende lies almost 400 metres lower than Bessvatnet, and while Bessvatnet has a blue
colour typical of other lakes, Gjende has a distinct green colour (the result
from glacier runoff containing clay)

The trek and climb took me 5 hours 30 mins, a trip I
recommend any visitor coming to Norway. There was great variety in the trek and
I experienced all kinds of weather along the way; typical Norway in other
words.

Rounding off by sending my regards to the three beautiful
and energetic girls from Fredrikstad whom I met on Galdhøgpiggen – keep up the mountaineering
spirit!

Vagablond – out&about