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May 06

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Lyngen day 2

One of the things that Patrik told us was that depending what face we decide to ski, we don’t need to be too concerned with what time of day we need to be starting our ascents.  The snow pack at the moment is pretty stable, and of course with close to 24 hours sunlight there are none of the usual Alpine ski touring concerns about making it to your destination before nightfall.

We took full advantage of this information by lying in until 10am, and having a hearty breakfast to set us up for the day.  The weather isn’t great, with steadily falling snow, heavy cloud cover, and poor visibility. We thought we’d wait to see if the conditions improve, and head towards Storgalten, a local peak which Patrik recommended as a good mountain to start our Lyngen touring.  It also looked to be a fairly easily navigable mountain in these low visibility conditions. We parked the car at Sandneset, and climbed along the southern side of the stream, curving to the south east. We headed for the saddle to the NNW of Storgalten, with the visibility getting no better with altitiude.

The snow conditions are very good, with perhaps 20cm having fallen in the last 24hrs, on top of an already very good base.  Ski touring at this altitude is very different to touring at 3000m in the Alps, with so much more oxygen available, so we made fairly light work of the ascent, stopping to check the map frequently to try to keep our bearings.  We came close to calling it a day at about 500m with the clouds closing in, but a brief gap allowed us to see the saddle we were aiming for, so we continued up, agreeing to turn back if the visibility didn’t improve.  Alas, it didn’t, so at around 820m on the saddle between the twin peaks of Lillegalten we turned back and had a glorious, albeit tentative descent through the fresh powder snow.  With good visibility the skiing would have been absolutely amazing, as the pitch is perfect for big aggressive lines – I can’t wait for better visibility, fingers crossed things improve during the week.  Until then we’re still having a fantastic time.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.snowgenius.com/2012/05/06/lyngen-day-2/

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