This week’s Mellow Expeditions feature comes from @adianhennessy who recently visited Oslo, Norway for his first snowy trip outside the UK. Aidan spent his couple days on several hikes making the most of the time he had. Here’s what he had to say..
Back in February I flew to Norway excited for what was in store for me - especially seen as I had never experienced such a cold snowy environment before.
The sun rose on Saturday morning and it was clear: this was going to be and extraordinary adventure! Crampons, gloves and layers at the ready! We set off to our first destination, an All Trails route by the name of Kolsåstoppen in the Kolsåsstupene Naturreservat - just 25 minutes from the city! This 5 mile circular took us through varying landscape, including along a ski slope, and up to a ridge line overlooking Oslo itself and its neighbouring town, Sandvika; giving us gorgeous views of the harbour and city.
Recuperated after a great meal out and a proper rest, Sunday bought on a new adventure - the biggest one of the trip. A mere 8.5 miles of the Norwegian landscape; this time in the Mellomkollen Naturreservat. Trudging through knee high, sometimes waist high, snow proved to be exhausting but exceptionally beautiful and hilarious at points. The sun was setting, giving off salmon pinks and deep hues of orange through the densely forested surroundings finally clearing: it cleared to the huge frozen lake Øyungen. We walked along the vast lake watching cross country skiers in the distance.
Pizza, IT Crowd and a comfortable bed prepared us for the day ahead. This time an hours drive and a sunrise hike through the renowned Mørkgonga gorge in the - you guessed it - Mørkgonga Naturreservat! Following the route left up the exceedingly steep valley, we were welcomed with signs warning us of the dangers of rockfall. Making it through the gorge we were greeted to spectacular views of the the tall snowcapped peaks of mountains in the distance. With Norway having over 230 peaks over 2000m, they stood proud from the forest covered hillsides. The route continued; twisting through the upper valley, across another frozen lake and again through deep snow. The deep snow left the route completely covered, with only the odd blue marker on a tree and a set of singular tracks often straying from the designated All Trails route.
With the three days hiking complete and tired legs, we headed to the airport. A quick breakfast discussing our trip and how we had wished for an extra day - the day to explore the city more. As we only had short evenings to explore.
Would I return? Yes, undoubtedly. Would I recommend Oslo? Without question - just make sure you bring your wallet!