part 15: trollheimen and kårvatn

The route: Jøldalshytta-Trollheimshytta-Nauståbu-Kårvatn. August 14-16. Day 120-122. 37 km.

Over the past years, I´ve had some minor troubles with, in particular, my left knee: I can´t really do squats, and though I can run and walk without problems, steep descents slightly worry me, not in technical terms, but in terms of the pressure put on the knee. In his regard, the section between Trollheimen and Sunndalen worried me the most of the entire Norge på Langs: A 600 m steep descent from Trollheimen to Kårvatn, followed by an 800 m ascent and then a very steep descent to Innerdalen. Again followed by an almost 1000 m steep descent into Sunndalen. Initially I thought the last would be the worst, but the steepest descent was in fact the one from Bjøråskaret into Innerdalen.

Around Jøldalshytta: The entrance to Trollheimen

Upon entering Trollheimen, you enter classic seter (summer mountain pastures) area: Plenty of sheep and goats on the trail and idyllic historic farms in the horizon. A popular outdoor area, I met plenty of people on the trail as well as passing the first staffed DNT cabin of Norge på Langs: Jøldalshytta. The Triangle of Trollheimen is a very popular 3-day hike, of which I walked the northern side of the Triangle between Jøldalshytta and Trollheimshytta.

Summer mountain pastures in Trollheimen

Apparently a trail run on the Triangle had originally been scheduled the same day, then canceled due to corona, which some then chose to run independently. Having been offline for two days, unable to watch Champions League, I figured that young, male trailrunners were most likely to be updated on football results and I sat on the front stairs of Trollheimen cabin when I finally got the update: Barcelona-Bayern Múnchen 2-8. Unbelievable.

Nauståbu

The walk from Trollheimshytta to Kårvatn is one of those spectacular walks taking you all the way “from summit to sea”: From the high mountains above the treeline, covered with snowfields and through steep mountain valleys past old seter buildings onwards down to the fiord. On the way I passed the idyllically located cabin Nauståbu: A no-service cabin with a hut book, with entries starting as early in 1973 as I found out when looking for entries on my 1972 birthday. Preparations were also ongoing for the annual trailrun Kårvatn Sky Run, marked up the steep mountain side. The small settlement of Kårvatn consists of a farm with free-roaming cattle, a self-service DNT cabin on the premises, and, what I believe to be the most idyllically located outdoor gearshop in Norway, literally in the middle of nowhere: Kårvatn Fjellutstyr. I camped at the designated area next to the river, slightly worried that the free-roaming cattle may take an interest in me, but they didn´t.

Lesson learnt #8: If you camp next to the river on what looks like a nice, flat place and hear sheep in the area, expect them to pass your tent early the next morning looking for water.

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