Winter Approaches

With winter just around the corner, I knew that it would soon become difficult to go for a hike. So during the weekend I strapped on my hiking boots and embarked on a new journey, this time across Vidden, a track located between the mountains of Ulriken and Fløyen. The word vidde has a few meanings in Norwegian, ranging from plain, expanse, open country to mountain plateau. All of these words nicely describe the track, which makes for a great daytrip!

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The trail for Vidden as marked by the black line. The black squares indicate Fløyen (upper) and Ulriken (lower). (Source: Statens kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner)

The hike itself is about 15 km in length, and takes about 5.5 hours to complete. It takes about an hour to scale Ulriken from its base, four hours to cross Vidden and another half hour to walk down from the top of Fløyen.

Autumn colours fill the Vidden trail, with blends of dull red, brown, orange and gold stretching endlessly in every direction. The whole area looks like something you’d find in an old sepia photo, with ankle-deep grasses and plants ready to retire before the coming winter months. Even the signs have rusted and faded, as if suggesting words are unnecessary in describing what lies around you.

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Ponds and small mountain lakes scattered across Vidden have turned into soft ice beds, and thin glasslike sheets of frost decorate the ground, seeming to have grown from nothingness. A few streams still flow with freshwater safe for drinking, but the water here is cold enough to even make your teeth chatter.

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With the fading autumn colours and slow invasion of ice along the trail, it is clear that winter nears. While summer brings verdant life and clean skies, autumn brings us the grey and faded, with a cool reminder of what lies around the corner. Compared to back home, the seasons in Norway really do prove their worth and each one provides their own, exciting surprises. I can’t wait to see what winter has in store!

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