Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sautinden and Pilan - Lofoten Islands ski day 4

Our targets today were Sautinden and Pilan on Austvågøy - the same island that Svolvaer is on.  We first called into Svolvaer to pick up Pete's skis that were repaired by Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr the drove around to the start of the route on the north side of the island.

It was overcast but the forecast rain did not eventuate.

It was firm skinning on icy snow up to the large col. The snow softened as we ascended Sautinden for more great views.  The snow was wet and heavy on the ski descent back col. 

We then climbed Pilan which was much higher and a long way up.  More views to fjords and the ocean on both sides for the island.  There were a lot of other groups on the summit and still climbing up - its a popular peak.

There was heavy snow on the first part of the descent but the second half the descent lower down was good corn snow and much nicer skiing.  A short pleasant blast through the trees took us down to the road.

This was the most physically demanding route so far with over 900m of climbing.  The Garmin Epix GPS is not recording all the route reliably which is annoying.   

We stopped for a coffee at Bacalau in Svolvaer on the way home, then had another wonderful dinner prepared by Rupert.

Climbing Sautinden 

Sautinden summit

Sautinden summit (Photo: James Thacker)

Pilan summit

View from Pilan

View from Pilan

View from Pilan

View from Pilan looking to the main summit

View from Pilan

View from Pilan

Sautinden viewed from the road

Pilan viewed from the road

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hellostinden - Lofoten Islands ski day 3

Hellostinden looms as an impressive peak on the Vestvågøyathe second of the Lofoten Islands. I was in the first group led by James with Pete, Craig and Robert. Skinning up a ridge was straightforward on icy snow after the overnight freeze.

Gaining open ground the ocean and mountain views again opened up.  The views from the summit are spectacular.

We did a run down on good spring snow that was warmed by the sun.  Slope aspects are critical for getting good skiing conditions.

We climbed to the summit again and met George with the second group of skiers.  Our second run was also very good.  Lots of turns in soft snow.

We climbed again for our third and final run then began our descent route which included sideslipping through a small icy chute.  Navigating down was tricky - we ended up following the ridge line back down.  It would be very tricky in poor visibility.

Another excellent bluebird ski day

Peter hit a rock on the descent so we headed to Svolvaer to get the excellent outdoor gear shop
Skandinavisk Høyfjellsutstyr to repair them.

On the way we spotted a Moose close to the road!  A superb animal, they stand very tall and can move very quickly.   When it took flight there was another one with it.  They fled with their white tails up - George informed me they use this a silent signal for danger.