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Super Mums and Ski Crazy Norwegians
Tiarnan & Dad are super proud of Anita for many reasons but today we were especially proud thinking about the walking guide book she wrote and published recently. The summer before last Anita covered 100km's walking and re-walking tracks and peaks, taking notes, getting photos and collecting GPS information. A lot of which was done with Tiarnan in her tummy.
She also put in countless hours writing up the book, formatting it, processing the maps and GPS data, dealing with printers, cartographers, trekking groups and landlords. And all that was before she had to deal with translating it. It was a huge under taking and the finished product was brilliant and so professional.
Well after the book there is still plenty of work to do like updating signage, marking trails, replacing 'summit books'. With all the work mum does Tiarnan and Dad like to try help her out where we can. Today's task was an easy one, update the signage at Donsen where the trail into Kvinen hut starts. Here you can see Tiarnan (aka the Tiarnanator) helping dad select the right driver bits for the job.
Donsen is about 10 minutes in the car from here and being a little higher that home, at about 800m, is right at the top of the tree line. It's a very pretty place which is why it is one of the popular places for people from the city of Stavanger to have cabins.
Sirdal has many many cabins. There is a little over 300 residents here in the 25 to 30 km stretch of the upper Sirdal Valley, however, there are literally thousands of cabins. Norwegians are absolutely crazy about getting into the mountains and skiing and having your own haven in the mountains is a big part of the culture. These cabins are generally only used during the winter weekends and public holidays. In summer it is kind of surreal to pass through areas with lots of properties and not see a single person. As you can see from these pictures the 'cabins' are often far from basic.
I find people's commitment to getting in to the mountains to ski very admirable. To access the cabins in the picture here you must undertake a 6km journey on cross country skis from road head (In the interests of keeping the place peaceful they are not allowed to use snow mobiles). Most of these people drive up here from the city after work on a Friday (about 90 minutes when there isn't a blizzard) and ski into their cabins for the weekend, often hauling all their food and drinks. In addition to getting to the cabin, it also a considerable undertaking just getting these places built. Many require a helicopter to get the building materials in and the properties also have to be maintained.
The Norwegians REALLY do love getting into the mountains in winter and a big "hats off" to them for that. It is no wonder they always stuff the trophy cabinet at the winter Olympics despite having a population of less than 5 million. It a commonly said that ‘Norwegians are born with skis on their feet’. Well having attended Tiarnan’s birth I was very pleased to discover that it wasn’t true. Hmmm!!! But then again it might actually still be true, he is only half Norwegian after all?? Perhaps that explains why the mums are so tough!!