Summer in Helgeland, Norway

10:37 a.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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When we told friends here in Trondheim that we were planning a trip to Helgeland, many would just smile knowingly to themselves and say something like "I hope you get the weather..."

Well, we got the weather. You can see the results at:
http://gallery.me.com/rstrimbe#100036
(uses Apple's fancy photo viewer, takes a bit to load but I hope it's worth the wait...)

We had friends visiting from VT, and wanted to do something new with them. Most of our trips have been in southern Norway, so we decided to head north. Helgeland is reputed to be one of the most beautiful parts of the Norwegian coast, which is really saying something. It's also right on Otto's doorstep, and to balance his snowy trip reports, this one will show you that summer comes to Scandinavia, too!

We only had ten days, and eight people and a dog. So we rented a 9-seater diesel van, lashed two kayaks stuffed with camping gear on the roof, stuffed more gear, kids, and the dog in the back, and set the compass north.

We had three focal points:

Torghatten, a coastal headland/mountain with a hole through it, and the site of a historic jam by four members of our party.

Lovund, an offshore island/mountain known for nesting puffins, only they didn't show up this year. But we day-hiked to the top of the island and were rewarded with stunning views of or third goal...

The Svartisen ice cap. We stayed a couple nights at a hut called Tåkeheimen -- Home of he Fog, right at the edge of Svartisen. My wife laughed out loud when I told her I'd picked that one. It lived up to its name -- a fog rose up out of the valley below and engulfed the hut for about 20 hours, but we arrived and departed in bluebird weather and had enough to spare for (in my case) late night (but this is summer north of the arctic circle...) and early morning trips up to a nearby peak, Helgelandsbukken. If I had any regrets at all, it would be that I didn't bring a pair of skis for a July tour over the ice.

Although I would normally go in for less driving and more hiking/skiing/kayaking, in terms of scenery it was one of our best trips yet!

4:30 p.m. on November 30, 2008 (EST)
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BigRed Helgeland is more than my doorstep, I lived there for many years, even finished highschool at Mo i Rana back in '67. With aunt and cousins all over Helgeland I also wisit it regularly.

Magnificent pictures you've posted, make me long back to Tåkeheimen. Been there both summer and winter, fantastic location. My next goal is to hike de Syv Søstre(Seven Sisters) near Sandnessjøen. I had one attempt but weather was too bad.

4:43 a.m. on December 1, 2008 (EST)
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My daughter and I went about halfway up one of the sisters about as fast as we could go because we had to make it to the next ferry. It was rather hot (for Norway) and we stopped for a swim on the way down!

Doing all seven would be fantastic. It's also my dream to do a more extended kayak tour in Helgeland. We talked to a group of Germans on Lovund that had come up from Bronnøysund. They had to figh some wind in the crossing to Lovund but otherwise seemed to be enjoying themselves.

And then there's Økstindane -- have you been there?

6:10 a.m. on December 3, 2008 (EST)
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I guess you mean Okstindan, a litle south of Umbukta (the border road between Mo i Rana and Sweden).

Yes I was on the Oksskolten, the highest peak in Northern Norway in summer 2007. A fantastic trip, for we had to cross a glacier and that is an extra spice for the trip. Had also a trip along the border from Saltfjellet to Umbukta in the easter same year.

9:02 a.m. on December 4, 2008 (EST)
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I guess I 'm still struggling with Norwegian vowels! We got a glimpse of Oksskolten during the drive and I have read a little bit about it. It must be fantastic on a good day!

I also took a look at the pictures from the Jan Mayen expedition you recommended on another thread -- amazing!

12:39 a.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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WOW! Those islands look amazing, the water is so blue. There is a place to add to the dream wall.

7:53 a.m. on January 13, 2009 (EST)
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Just keep in mind that we were really lucky with the weather, it can be quite bad. Otto might have something to say about that...

September 3, 2014
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