Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ullstinden - Kvaløya ski day 4

Ullstinden 1078m, Tromso, great summit cornice and views and excellent descent, 11 May 2016.

Kvaløya ski day 4, Norway ski day 13

Peter near the summit
It has been a challenge for George and Alison to locate the ski peak with the best weather forecast due to ongoing unstable "grey" weather.

Today they chose Ullstinden north of Tromso and what a great choice it was.  There was a weather window around the peak so we had great conditions and superb views of the surrounding fjords and the northern section of the Lyngen Alps.

We skied up through some trees after a brief walk. George spotted some moose tracks on the way.  The snow was wet at the bottom but some became dry.  The wind from the south was cold - this was our coldest day so far with the temperature below zero and some chill factor.

Crowberries, very small native berries, were at ground level on the way up.  Skiing over patches of vegetation left red marks in the snow.

Crowberries (krekling or krøkebær)  aren’t widely used because they are bitter and tough to eat. They are mainly used for juicing and are often collected as collateral as they often grow in the same areas as bilberries. They are a diuretic and because of this in Norway they are also called ‘piss berries’.

Some ski skins were balling up so George assisted with applications of "skin glide wax" which is very effective in reducing this problem.

The views got better as we climbed.  The climbing angle was easy and the snow was good.  Finally the summit!  I entered all our names in the summit log book while George scoped out the terrain.

Photos taken, skins off then we skied down in the light cover of delightful fresh powder. We climbed a subsidiary summit for more views and to get a better run down.

We spotted three large White Tailed Eagles circling high above.

The snow turned wet on the lower slopes and there was a familiar gnarly section through light tree cover until we took our skis off and walked a short distance to the van.

Ullstinden has a wide variety of views and wide expanses of easy angled slopes. It was a great tour.  So much so that Roger cracked open his two bottles of nice Australian red wind to celebrate.



Approach, Ullstinden in the background

Moose prints

Crushed Crowberries in the snow

Heading for Ullstinden summit

Climbing, staying clear of cornice

George near the summit

Summit log book

Peter near the summit

Glide wax on!

Eagles above

Kvaloya peaks viewed on return journey

Looking at Japan photos

Beer from the world's most northern (legal) brewery

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