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hardangervidda - summertour with dog


Luk
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Hi

from august 22 till september 3 we're making a tour on hardangervidda.

we plan to park our car near liseth and take the bus to kinsarvik. we'll walk from kinsarvik to liseth passing harteigen and a round around hardangerjokullen. we'll probably camp along the route and won't sleep in the DNT cabins.

(any other suggestions for a route on the vidda are welcome as well)

We have two questions.

is it possible to take our dog on the bus from liseth to kinsarvik? does anybody know where we can find some timetables for this trip?

on the other hand, we're trying to find out the best way to cross summerbridges with our dog.

Garu (beauceron) weighs about 32-35kg so I cannot jus put him in my pocket to get up and off the bridges.

any usefull tips are very welcome.

Cheers,

Luk

Looking forward to yet another visit to Norway

Hopefully next year we'll move permanently to Norway

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Hello,

The bus you should take is 991 Geilo-Odda. This bus stops at Fossli (close to Liset) daily at 13:15. It arrives at Kinsarvik at 14:20.

Should be no problem bringing your dog on board the bus. You may have to buy an extra ticket, though. :)

On your planned route, you certainly are doing it the hard way. It is a steep and long climb from Kinsarvik. It is much easier to start on the Hardangervidda plateau, for instance Dyranut, and finish in Kinsarvik.

Example: Dyranut-Kjeldebu-Finse-Rembesdalsseter-Liset-Hedlo-Hadlaskard-Hårteigen-Torehytten-Stavali-Kinsarvik.

The bus back to Dyranut leaves Kinsarvik daily at 08:20. An option is to camp in Kinsarvik close to the beautiful Hardangerfjord the last night.

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Thanks Ruggen for your information on the busses

Reisande kan fritt ta med handbagasje med samla vekt på inntil 20 kg for kvar billett. Bagasjen må plasserast slik at den ikkje sjenerer dei reisande eller hindrar på- og avstiging. Å ta med hund på bussen kostar det same som ein barnebillett, men maksimalt 40 kr. Førarhundar eller tenestehund reiser gratis. Det er også gratis å ta med barnevogn, rullestol, ski og liknande dersom det er ledig plass.

so, if I understand this correctly, our dog is welcome on the bus but we should pay max 40NOK

Hello,

On your planned route, you certainly are doing it the hard way. It is a steep and long climb from Kinsarvik. It is much easier to start on the Hardangervidda plateau, for instance Dyranut, and finish in Kinsarvik.

Example: Dyranut-Kjeldebu-Finse-Rembesdalsseter-Liset-Hedlo-Hadlaskard-Hårteigen-Torehytten-Stavali-Kinsarvik.

The bus back to Dyranut leaves Kinsarvik daily at 08:20. An option is to camp in Kinsarvik close to the beautiful Hardangerfjord the last night.

Thanks Basso1 for your suggestion on our planned route.

we've chosen this route because we'ld like to cut our hikingtrip in two. halfway we get back to our car so we don't have to carry food, gas, ... for the whole trip. The reason why we'ld start in kinsarvik is because this way we start by using public transport and after our trip, we come back to our car. This way we don't have any stress catching a bus. We intend to sart sunday afternoon from kinsarvik and climb some 500m. on monday we'll continue our climb and we'll camp somewhere halfway between stavaly and torehytta.

If someone has some usefull tips and tricks on how to pass summerbridges with a large dog... they are very welcome.

Suggestions about our route are welcome as well. Perhaps I should mention that we'ld like to end our tour where we've parked our car so the route suggested should be a loop or it should be possible to take a bus/train in the beginning after which we can walk back to our car.

Cheers,

Luk

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What's the problem with the dog? They are good swimmers, you know.

well, let's hope garu won't have any problems on his first hiking tour in Norway.

Problem is dat he is not used to swim and especially not in cold streaming water.

we don't have similar rivers here in Belgium unfortunately.

If I remember correctly, some of the rivers we'll cross using summer bridges, can have a (very) strong current (e.g, the river enterig the lake near Finse which we shall cross when we come from tverrbrennstua. "edit : this should be rembesdalseter"

If you let your dog swim acros those rivers, do you attach hime to a rope or something in order to help him?

Luk

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I understand your worries about crossing the brigdes, it can be a nightmare. I have enough experience with them to have learned to be careful.

First; It is not always an option to let the dog swim across, even if he is used to swimming. The current can be strong, and there are often rocks in the river. He can panic, you can panic.

I have a 42 kilos dog, and we just crossed 8 brigdes when we crossed Hardangervidda some weeks ago. Some of them are easy. Wooden, solid brigdes that goes directly from the ground or a rock. Other brigdes have ladders og steep stairs to get up and down. Some have open patches in the beginning and end to avoid sheep and cattle to cross. All of this can be a challenge for a dog.

Here is what I do when I cross complicated bridges, usually suspension bridges:

I always bring a harness and 2 x 5 meters of rope. The harness is solid and for mushing. In a crisis I can haul him out of the water in it. I tie him up (important or he will try to cross after me), and cross over first with my and my dogs backpacks. Never let the dog wear a backpack when crossing suspension brigdes. They loose their balance. Then I go back and tie the rope to the harness properly. If it starts with a ladder you have no choice but to help him up. My dog tries to climb, and I help with the rear end. You should be able to lift your dog (consider it an excercise :!: ).

When we cross I allow him 2-3 meters space and walk very carefully behind him. Let him have his pace. If he stops I talk calmly and command him forward. I make sure I don't rock the brigde. He might loose his balance. When he reaches the other side I go close so I control the way down. If it is a ladder I sort of lower him by the harness. Stairs he handles himself. The rope must be loose enough for him to have full freedom, but not so loose that he might get it around the feet. Don't pull the rope. If there are open patches on the brigde I can see he doesn't handle, I command either forward or jump.

If you take your time and let him find his way it is my experience that the dogs find it a bit exiting. Make sure he doesn't enter the brigde until you are ready. I once found my dog on his way up a ladder. He fell to the ground. Thank god no injury, but I've learned my lesson.

If your dog flat out refuses to enter the brigde, don't force him. Panic will for sure send him down the river. As a last resort you'll have to cross the river with him if possible, or carry him over the brigde. If you have to carry him, make sure you have a firm grip on the collar and harness so he doesn't start moving and you loose him.

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I understand your worries about crossing the brigdes, it can be a nightmare. I have enough experience with them to have learned to be careful.

First; It is not always an option to let the dog swim across, even if he is used to swimming. The current can be strong, and there are often rocks in the river. He can panic, you can panic.

I have a 42 kilos dog, and we just crossed 8 brigdes when we crossed Hardangervidda some weeks ago. Some of them are easy. Wooden, solid brigdes that goes directly from the ground or a rock. Other brigdes have ladders og steep stairs to get up and down. Some have open patches in the beginning and end to avoid sheep and cattle to cross. All of this can be a challenge for a dog.

Here is what I do when I cross complicated bridges, usually suspension bridges:

I always bring a harness and 2 x 5 meters of rope. The harness is solid and for mushing. In a crisis I can haul him out of the water in it. I tie him up (important or he will try to cross after me), and cross over first with my and my dogs backpacks. Never let the dog wear a backpack when crossing suspension brigdes. They loose their balance. Then I go back and tie the rope to the harness properly. If it starts with a ladder you have no choice but to help him up. My dog tries to climb, and I help with the rear end. You should be able to lift your dog (consider it an excercise :!: ).

When we cross I allow him 2-3 meters space and walk very carefully behind him. Let him have his pace. If he stops I talk calmly and command him forward. I make sure I don't rock the brigde. He might loose his balance. When he reaches the other side I go close so I control the way down. If it is a ladder I sort of lower him by the harness. Stairs he handles himself. The rope must be loose enough for him to have full freedom, but not so loose that he might get it around the feet. Don't pull the rope. If there are open patches on the brigde I can see he doesn't handle, I command either forward or jump.

If you take your time and let him find his way it is my experience that the dogs find it a bit exiting. Make sure he doesn't enter the brigde until you are ready. I once found my dog on his way up a ladder. He fell to the ground. Thank god no injury, but I've learned my lesson.

If your dog flat out refuses to enter the brigde, don't force him. Panic will for sure send him down the river. As a last resort you'll have to cross the river with him if possible, or carry him over the brigde. If you have to carry him, make sure you have a firm grip on the collar and harness so he doesn't start moving and you loose him.

Thanks for this very useful reaction.

So, what I've learned :

we should have two ropes to assist/guide him together with a suitable harness.

we use a ruffwear palisades pack for our dog. Do you think the harness of this pack should be sufficient?

we're two so one of us can call the dog to the other side of the bridge while the other can make sure he doesn't go too fast... this should be easier in helping him up and down the ladders as well.

which route did you walk on hardangervidda? did you pass some places that you would recommend or that you would avoid when you go back to hardangervidda some other time?

Cheers,

Luk

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Hi again.

Sorry. Didn't mean to discourage you. Most brigdes are easy, and the rest is just to get use to. My dog loves the crossings. I think most dogs love new challenges as long as they are not forced in any way.

The point with the rope is to have enough for long brigdes, if the dog needs to go alone across. If one of you is at the other end and any fall from the brigde is not dangerous, let him go without the rope. They do best when they use their own pace and find the way themselves. Pulling the rope only makes them unstable. I like to have 2 x 5 meters instead of 1 x 10 meters because long ropes gets messy. If a fall from the brigde is dangerous, the rope is there as security.

My dogs might run after sheep or reindeer, that's why I never have them unleashed at any time. I use the ropes at camp to tie the dogs to a rock. Som rocks/boulders are big, so long ropes come in handy some times.

A week ago I trekked Hjølmo - Hedlo - Hadlaskard - Litlos (via Hårteigen) - Hellevassbu - Haukeliseter. Most brigdes where between Litlos and Haukeliseter. There is one suspension brigde by Hadlaskard, but with two people it is no problem. I would advise you to go where you want to, and take the crossings as they come. You always find a solution when you are prepared.

The harness should be strong enough to hold the weight of the dog.

Have a good journey! I envy you from my office in town :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

tonight we're leaving for Kinsarvik.

It seems we'll bring some rain with us for the next 10 days or so.

Hope we'le do fine crossing those bridges.

Thanks for all useful reactions.

Cheers,

Luk

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  • 3 weeks later...

During our first week we had lots of rain and one morning some fresh snow at +/- 1250m

The second week was much better with the beginning of beautiful autumn colors.

On the ordinary bridges we didn't have any problems, as was to be expected.

Due to some changes in the planned route, we didn't pass any suspensionbridge. Those will be for next year.

Cheers,

Luk

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