On January 6th we decided to meet in Alta in Northern Norway to have a winter camping trip around Alta. However, we had no specific plan yet where to go once we arrived in Alta until we met Bram - a friend from Konstantin - who is managing Holmen Husky in the area and lives since several years in Norway but originating from the Netherlands.
Bram - who works for Holmen Husky provided us a Pulka (Norpulken) and drove us with his Toyota Land Cruiser from Alta on the E6 to a place which he suggested would be nice to explore.
On the way to the shelter we also passed by Haldde mountain, which is a popular scenic point. In the past there was also a research centre on the top of the Haldde but there are only the buildings left with no ongoing activities.
While we were driving with Bram’s Land Cruiser we stopped on a local grocery store where we bought winter gas for our stove, matches and a lighter.
Once we arrived on our starting point we unloaded our gear, said bye to Bram and got the pulka ready. From the somewhat close distance we were able to hear some huskies and also realized later on that this area seemed to be quite popular for husky tours once some huskies passed by (see video below).
Once we loaded our gear on the pulka, put on our MSR snowhoes and enjoyed the scenery around us. We have already tested our snowshoes in the Austrian Alps and felt quite comfortable walking with them.
Then we decided to pitch the tent, collect some wood and to get a small fire burning in Konstantin’s new Cimarron tent by Seek Outside.
Indeed, deciding to set up the tent early was a good decision since it got dark quite early and preparing the camp took a while too. Chopping wood with our axe and our saw also took a while.
It’s quite different than the hikes we have done during spring, summer and autumn. But we were lucky with the temperatures as -4C during the night was not as warm as we had expected.
For dinner we prepared a hiking meal which Konstantin imported from Japan and mashed potatoes. We also had Dutch cheese with as as well as Lapland bread and we completed our dinner with a hot cup of tea which we prepared from snow which we melted in a mug on our stove.
A little bit exhausted we went sleeping quite early but woke up in the middle of the night as we had the feeling that there were some Northern Lights in the sky.
Konstantin decided to have a look out of the tent and indeed there were those nice green lights dancing in the sky. They were not that strong but it was still nice to watch and took a few pictures of them.
Back in the tent we had a long sleep till 8am. It was still dark so it did not feel that it was already that late.
While Konstantin tried to crawl out of his sleeping bag he got a cramp in his leg. However, breakfast with a hot cup of tea let him made smile again.
Then it was time to pack our gear and continue our snowshoeing trip towards Alta for the next 8 hours.
We passed frozen lakes and enjoyed the mountains which surrounded us. On our way we also met a few skiers pulled by their dogs.
Since we had stored most of our gear in our pulka we decided that it would be a fair decision to swap the pulka from time to time.
Then we also reached a lake where we got into a snow storm. Fortunately, the wind became less once we entered the forest again. During our trip we also tested the fly360 camera (see below) which you can watch here. You can use a VR headset or Google cardboard to watch the video as well. We did not edit or trim the video so feel free to fast forward it if it feels too long :)
We also met a view cross-country skiers who were pulled by their dogs. Once we reached the new road E6 we walked next to it and decided to have a brake in the Alta Museum to eat some waffles and have a cup of tea. Konstantin has seen already the exhibition and I decided to visit the museum the next day since it was already about to close. One tip: the bus tickets in Alta are valid for 1 hour. So if you are very quick you can take the bus back to town with the same ticket.
Somewhat exhausted from the trip we really enjoyed this short break before continuing to the city centre where checked into our hotel, stored the pulka and had a sauna.
We also have a tradition to eat in a Pizza Restaurant after each of our trips and so we decided to visit Peppes Pizza to celebrate our first winter camping experience in Northern Norway.
We were quite tired and had a good night sleep after dinner. The next day brought a new adventure up to the Komsa mountain in Alta. More about this adventures soon on our blog.
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