Walking First SNOW of the Year

I woke up surprised to see a winter wonderland outside my window.

October 22nd, Calgary, Canada.

I put on my winter jacket and headed out quickly to enjoy the clean, white fresh stuff — watching for Bobcat tracks. My neighbourhood is the only place I’ve ever seen Bobcat.

Sarcee Meadows, Calgary
My Junior High School, A.E. Cross.
My Elementary School, Glamorgan.

Hiking out of Bodø, Norway

The gateway to the wonderful Lofoten archipelago is the town of Bodø, the end of the train line north.

It’s usually cheaper and easier to fly as the train is a 17 hour overnight journey from Oslo. The town is so compact that you can easily walk from the airport to the train station.

On my two trips to the awesome Lofoten hikes, I’ve spent quite a few days in Bodø — supposedly in transit.

It’s worth wandering the streets of Bodø.

ALSO — there is some hiking available walking from the centre of town.

I went first to Bestefarvarden. An interesting scramble among rocky cliffs overlooking the sea.


The “hike” starts close to this beach, well above the Arctic Circle.

I left a Summit Stone there.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

From there, I walked through an industrial zone to reach the city fortress (redoubt). Small, but interesting. With good views over to Bodø centre.

In addition, many tourists visit Saltstraumen, a small strait with one of the strongest tidal currents in the world. 

There’s more to Bodø than only a transit point.

Hiking out of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

The Tenacious Trekkers flew up to Longyearbyen and took a guided glacier hike.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. North of mainland Europe, it is about midway between the northern coast of Norway and the North Pole. …

The largest island is Spitsbergen

The largest settlement is Longyearbyen. …

Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers

The three main industries on Svalbard are coal miningtourism, and research. …

Tourism is focused on the environment and is centered on Longyearbyen. Activities include hiking, kayaking, walks through glacier caves, and snowmobile and dog-sled safari. Cruise ships generate a significant portion of the traffic …

Population of Svalbard is around 3000.

I’d love to get up there one day.

I QUIT the Long Crossing of Lofoten Archipelago, Norway

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Inspired by Cam Honan’s 2018 adventure, I set out for the Long Crossing – a 160 km (99 mi) hiking route through the spectacular heart of the island chain. 

It’s not all that popular yet. In fact, AllTrails doesn’t have it. And it has every trail everywhere.

After one day — 9 hours in perfect weather — I’ve decided to QUIT. That day was too difficult and too dangerous for me carrying a heavy pack.

Olderfjorden pass

It LOOKS easy in the photo. But it’s mostly route finding through marshy terrain. Worst was a risky descent clutching a water pipe and safety ropes. Starting up near the top of the waterfall.

This was the Kleppstad to Svolvær leg.

I’d already visited Lofoten on another trip, doing most of the popular day hikes.

I’ll follow the general path of the Long Crossing. But camp low. And climb high with a day pack. Weather will dictate which established day hikes I choose.

I’ll be following recommendations set out in the Rando-Lofoten guidebook by Souyris & Brede:

Hiking the Lofoten islands

Wish me luck. Things tend to #fail in Arctic Norway — usually due to weather.

Climbing Segla (Sail) Mountain on Senja Island, Norway

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

The main reason we make the long trip to Senja Island is to climb high and enjoy otherworldly views.

Click PLAY or see Segla mountain and others on the island on YouTube.

Senja is even further north than famed Lofoten archipelago , but is equally spectacular in places.

The jumping off point is remote Fjordgård, not easy to reach by bicycle.

I camped for free along the ocean. A very windy night.

The east side of Segla starts rising gently, whereas the steep cliffs on the west side drop directly into the fjord. The EASY route is still challenging near the top. You’ll be using your hands.

BUT first it’s recommended to do the Hesten hike, rewarding you with the most impressive looks at the peak. 3.7 km return. Hesten is 556m.

Next climb Segla itself, if you have the energy.

Around 4km return. Perhaps 2 hours up, 1 hour down — IF you move steadily. Weather is the main factor. It can switch from sun to rain storm in just a few minutes.

Click PLAY or watch my video highlights MUSIC video 😀 on YouTube.

related – detailed trip report by Worldering Around – Segla, Senja Island – Best View Of The Iconic Mountain From Hesten Hike

June to September are the best months.

Hike Blåvatnet, Norway – The Blue Lake

The most popular day hike in the Lyngen Alps, way north of the Arctic Circle, is to Blåisvatnet.

A striking blue colour with steep mountains in the background.

It’s considered an EASY hike for the family — but I rolled my ankle a little twice on the rocks and scree.

About 8km return, but watch your footing.

Click PLAY or watch a summer video on YouTube.

It’s fairly close to the Svensby ferry landing.

Personally, I wasn’t all that impressed by Blåisvatnet. There are gorgeous lakes everywhere in Norway. For me this wasn’t anything special.

In fact, I preferred another hike even closer to Svensby ➙ I had the Barheia summit all to myself. The much-more-famous Blue Lake was super crowded the day I was there.

Related – trip report – StunningOutdoors 

It is available on AllTrails.

Hiking Arctic Norway – Barheia, Lyngen Alps

Trip Report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

Click PLAY or watch a #shorts on YouTube.

Barheia is not one of the famous hikes. In fact, I only learned of it from a hiking guidebook I found at a nearby hostel.

MOST day hikes here required a lot of vertical before getting to the great vistas.

Only 350m? Only 1 hour?

Let’s GO.

It’s about 6.8km return from the trailhead — once you find it well above the highway campground.

AND it’s very conveniently located in Svensby, close to the ferry dock. You can easily walk from the ferry.

Most tourists drive right past on their way to the most popular day hike in the area, Blåisvatnet (the Blue Lake). Personally I enjoyed Barheia much better. AND had the summit to myself. The Blue Lake trail is crowded with hikers high season.

Confusingly, there’s a trailhead sign close to the campground on the highway. But the start is actually higher up the mountain, well above the campers.

Once there, you can’t get lost as it’s blazed red. Useful when the snow falls.

related – Wild Planet trip report

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