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Papahiker

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Dear forum members,

excuse me for writing in English. I read your forum in Norwegian, but writing in your great language would be a bit hard for me. I hope some of you could help me with the preparation for a solo ski trip with tent. I am an experienced hiker and camper, but not so much in winter. As i'm also going solo it seems logical to pick an easy area for a solo ski trip. Oslomarka good idea? For a seven day trip I plan to ski from Grua to Spikkestad, probably in march. If I have time left maybe all the way to Hokksund? I have good camping equipment and a very warm winter sleeping bag. But I do have some questions: do you know where to buy gas for my stove, what do you think of the route length, is it good camping there, do you think I could find liquid water or would i need to melt snow? Is it easy to find wood for a campfire?

Also a ski question: with a 13-16 kg backpack, should I go with my 7cm wide Madshus or the 6cm wide åsnes? The Madshus have full steel edges, the åsnes 3/4, but actually I like the stiffer åsnes much better. The tracks will be most suited for 6cm skis? 

Any other tips and input are very welcome, please answer på norsk if it is easier.

thank you very much in advance, Papa hiker

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The biggest challenge can be the amount of snow, becase it is impossible to predict how the conditions will be. The past two years has not been good in terms amount of snow in the lower areas in Norway. The trip might be possible, but you should at the same moment make a "plan-b" in case of lack of snow. Areas in or above the "tree limit" around 900m will basicly have "snow guarantee", but there conditions will definitely be more rough.

If you look at the website: www.skisporet.no you will be able to get live update for more than less all the prepared tracs in Norway, this will give you a heads up for where how the conditions will be. The tracs change colours from "how old" they are. New tracs will of course then indicate that it is good conditions. By looking at this you can get an idea how the winter turns out.

If you by gas means canisters of propane/butane mix, you will find that in basicly every sport store, but not all might have the "wintergas" version. The XXL stores will have the Coleman wintergas version (they have it year around).

If you meen "petrol" or "Coleman fuel", the sport shops have those as well but only in 1 litre quantities. If you go to "Biltema", "Europris" or "Felleskjøpet", you can get "acrylate fuel" in 4litre cans as well as one litre, 4 liter are cheeaper, but you might not need that big amount of fuel. (Just make sure you get the 4 stroke version)

The prepared tracs are optimized for 42 or 44mm wide cross country skis. A ski like Åsnes Amundsen will barly fit in the tracs, and the tip will scratch in the turns. Are your skis within the same measurements or less they will fit. But if you are supposed to make your own tracs, you will be better of with the Madshus. You don't need steel edges in the prepared tracs.

 

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If it's cold, it usually is better to use a liquid fuel stove for snowmelting. The output of a gas canister will be reduced a lot when the temperature drops, it will help to turn the canister upside-down after the stove is warm and has a pre-heating loop.

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In winter I prefer to pull a sled with my belongings rather than carrying a backpack. To me it means that I can bring along up to 50-60 kgs of gear with ease compared to carrying a backpack. 
 

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The lenght of the trip is hard to comment as it depends a lot of your skiing skills and your general physics and how much of the day you are prepared/able to walk and how much you will camp.

As long as you are camping in woods you will be pretty safe, but I recommend that you make yourself familiar with spesifics for tenting in winter like digging av cold pit, dangers with heating up tent if not sufficient ventilation and so on...

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Hey thanks a lot for the replies! Some of it is reassuring. Maybe you guys could help me out some more with the liquid water question? I'm wondering if I need to melt snow, or if you can just crack a hole in the ice and get water from the lakes? I did mean the gas canisters, I have a gas burner with a preheating tube where you can turn the canister upside down. I'll take two 200 gr. canisters. Problem is they are not allowed on the plane! Which is why a wood burner is also an option.

Hey Omnilite, as a back up plan I'm looking at following the route system in Hedmarksvidda (troll loypa and others) from Ringebu to Hamar, but that will probably be more advanced? I'm a fit guy and a reasonably fast skier, just not experienced with solo winter camping trips. So I'll keep an eye on skisporet.no in the weeks prior to the trip and if the Nordmarka is snowless it will have to be Ringebu. Or maybe someone has another tip?

Thanks for the ski advice. I will take the Asnes skis then, I love them more anyway. A pulka is not super attractive for me: being a beginner I guess it is better to stick to the marked routes and I would feel super weird messing up the tracks with a pulka. Is it even allowed? Anyway all my gear together is not so heavy, so I'll just lug it on my back.

Oh yes and one more question: should I take climbing skins??

Thanks a lot again! Kind regards from Holland, Papa hiker

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26 minutter siden, Papahiker skrev:

Hey thanks a lot for the replies! Some of it is reassuring. Maybe you guys could help me out some more with the liquid water question? I'm wondering if I need to melt snow, or if you can just crack a hole in the ice and get water from the lakes? I did mean the gas canisters, I have a gas burner with a preheating tube where you can turn the canister upside down. I'll take two 200 gr. canisters. Problem is they are not allowed on the plane! Which is why a wood burner is also an option.

You will find flowing water some places, but you need to be prepared to melt snow and that consumes a lot of fuel. You will find cas-canisters in most sportsshops, but you should really consider getting a fuelburning stove. Even with preheatingtube and "wintergas" its more safe and fuelefficient with liquid fuel.

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I will also say as the others here. Go for a fuel burner stove. Even in march the temperature will drop below 0, and so is the effect of gas stove also. If you go for your backup plan, Hedmarksvidda, it will be hard to find water so you have to melt snow and that takes a lot of fuel as already mentions. I will also advise you to use a sled as you need more equipment for safe winter camping. It could be really heavy in i backpack. I have a video of a trip i do a few years ago from Spidsbergseter (Ringebu) to Sjusjøen (Lillehammer) and if you prefer the track go on all the way to Budor/Gåsbu etc.(Hamar) That track goes in a very smooth and easy terrain but its still in the mountain (1000 +meter ) so you have to bee prepared for the worst. And if you go solo that means that your skills and equipment matters.

Here´s the video from that trip. (and sorry! just my norwegian voice)

 

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Hi all, thanks a lotfor your answers. I will follow your advice and take a liquid fuel stove and the åsnes in stead of the madshus skis. Dear Rayun, thanks for posting a video! I will watch it today. I do hope there is a lot of snow as below treeline seems better for me as beginner.

kind regards, Papa hiker

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På 30.8.2017 den 10.08, Papahiker skrev:

 A pulka is not super attractive for me: being a beginner I guess it is better to stick to the marked routes and I would feel super weird messing up the tracks with a pulka. Is it even allowed? Anyway all my gear together is not so heavy, so I'll just lug it on my back.

Every time I've been out skiing in the marked routes here in my area (i live near Sjusjøen) there's plenty of pulk sleds in the tracks so I wouldn't worry too much about that.  A pulk sled means you can add a lot of weight to your gear without exhausting yourself, and also if you're a beginner, I think it would probably be easier rather than a heavyweight backpack which will pull you backwards in many occations (would for sure make me fall alot more often.. :p) . If you also bring your climbing skins, you will have 100% control both uphill and downhill.

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Hey guys, it's nice to get some local info! I'll consider the pulka (would have to rent) and won't worry about the tracks. If I plan on Spikkestad (depends on snow and on hw fast it is going) I'll send a note. We call Dutch who live in Norway "nedernoren". Coffee is always a good idea. 😀

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You will find liquid water most places during winter, but not allways nearby the place you are planning to stay at night. Bring a 5 l plastic can with you ( maybe smaller if you are backpacking?!) and collect water when passing small creeks or streams. If there is a thick layer of snow on frozen lakes there will usually be a thin layer of water between the ice and the snow. If you prod with a thin stick through the snow you can see whether it collects wet snow or not. Wet snow is a good sign of places to collect water.

let's cross our fingers for lots of snow this winter!

Eirik W

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