Two weekends in a row of hiking, nature, and friends!? YES, please.
This time we packed the car, our hiking boots and all the essentials required, and headed for Besseggen. Besseggen is a mountain ridge in Vaga kommune. It lies in Jotunheimen, between the lakes Gjende and Bessvatnet. The hike is most well known for the ridge that separates the two lakes. It is absolutely stunning and should be on everyone’s “to hike” list!
Every year, about 60,000 people travel to the famous mountain to hike. The route starts at Gjendesheim, right next to the turisthytte, the ferry dock, and many eager campers. You get to the trails highest point, which is Veslfjellet and then down you go to Besseggen. The hike typically ends at Memurubu where you can take the regularly scheduled ferry route back to Gjendesheim. Many people take the ferry to Memurubu and hike back towards Gjendesheim, but we decided to start from Gjendesheim! The hike is said to take between 5-7 hours, BUTTTTT that is without water breaks, photo opps, and to take breaks and enjoy the scenery! With that being said, we gave ourselves about 10 hours. Hey, we didn’t want to rush ourselves! But also, if we didn’t make it in time for the last ferry back we would be having a slumber party at the hytte on the other side!
The night before our hike we arrived to our cabin SUPER DUPER LATE. Apparently google maps was not our friend, and by the time it was midnight we realized we were parked amongst the sheep in the wrong driveway.
REROUTE. Arrival time 1:00 A.M.
Our plan was to be up at 5:00 A.M. to pack our pb&j sandwiches, lace up our boots, and drive the 30 minutes to the start of the hike! You best believe we still followed our plan… even after 3 hours of sleep. MAYBEEEEEE not our best decision, but we clearly had a ton of faith in ourselves.
When we got to Gjendesheim our plan was locked in. We would start there and take the last ferry back. “WAIT, ARE YOU SURE WE SHOULD DO IT THIS WAY AND NOT THE OTHER!?” After a couple minutes in our group huddle we decided to keep our plans as is!
Let’s go girls…
The hike wasn’t easy. We made plenty of stops to snap some pictures, hydrate, lather up on sun screen, and get our snack on. Did I mention this was probably the HOTTEST day of the year!? It definitely didn’t feel like it, but once we got to that ridge, DAMN IT WAS TOASTY! Epic fail on not packing a baseball cap. Days later my poor scalp would suffer ):
All was smooth sailing until we go to the ridge. I have to say, I would have much rather climbed up the endless mountain of rocks than down. But also, once we got down and finally looked up at what we ventured down I’m not sure I would have been to keen on climbing up. I was so proud and impressed with us! It definitely involved some technical skill, concentration and some kick ass determination.
The ridge and the separation of the two lakes was unbelievably beautiful. Pictures just don’t give it justice. I would love to wake up to that view every. single. morning. More ideas on living on top of Besseggen to come (:
Speed up to our last 30 minutes of the hike down. We were exhausted, sweaty, and maybe a little cranky, but we were doing great on time. We would make it in time to even have a quick jump in the water because let’s be real, we were sweating our booties off up there! The last bit of any hike, adventure, trip is always the most dangerous. You are almost there and you think you made it through the worst, but your body is also saying to you “What the hell did you just put me through!?”
Gigi fell about 5 minutes before we were to the ferry dock to head back to the car park. By that point I think we all were exhausted, dehydrated and feeling a little fuzzy. Unfortunately, this was not a fall where you get up and brush your bum off. It was more of a get up and realize you dislocated the crap out of your finger kind of fall. And this wasn’t an elegant dislocation, if that is even such a thing. Her finger was completely sticking out to the side. I think we would all agree it was not a pretty sight. Which is why I was the lucky friend who got to use both of my hands to cover it for a while, so no one (including Gigi) could look at it. I think we were all in a state of shock at that point.
Fast forward a couple hours. Since the turisthytte did not have anyone on staff we drove from Vaga to Lillehammer to get Gigi to the emergency room. Once we got our friend the medical attention her pinky finger needed, we were on our way (very tired I might add) back to Oslo! The adrenaline, the high from the mountains, and the multiple cups of coffee kept us awake and cruising through the mountains back to Oslo.
Although we may have felt very exhausted, the sweat from the hottest day may have burned our eyes, and we would have been OK with a less eventful day, we kicked ass and got to experience something remarkable!
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.