[YOUR ADVENTURE] NORWAY, EPISODE 1: PREPARATIONS & ITINERARY FOR A SELF-SUFFICIENT TREK
Each new adventure has its new adventurer! After Jean-François Lurol, Théo Giacometti, photographer and mountain lover, told us his self-sufficient trek in the Norwegian frozen land: 200 km, 4000 metres of altitude gain and 87 hours of walking in the Hardangervidda national park.
For those you just come on board, « Your adventure » is the section where you speak about your wilderness trip. So, through 5 episodes, Théo will share his 15 days of hiking in the vast expanses of cold land and the solitude of Norway.
Born in 1989, he lives in France, the Haute-Provence Alps. Graduated in cooking, he wrote a book called “Puisque chante la nuit” and published in April 2013. He is also a great photographer that we introduced to you a few months ago, with an artist portrait.
— EPISODE 1: PREPARATIONS & ITINERARY FOR A SELF-SUFFICIENT TREK —
April 2015. The project begins. A fully self-sufficient trek. Something I care deeply about.
A fortnight. One thing after another. I decide on a destination: Norway. I’ve long been attracted to this country.
I discovered it mostly through the exceptional photography of Vincent Munier. I knew what I was looking for: A barren, frozen land. Vast expanses of cold land and total solitude.
I was raised amongst rugged mountains and sharp ridges so wanted to seek out endless, gently undulating plains. I wanted the act of walking to become mechanical and repetitive so I could be alert to my surroundings and appreciate the profound silence and glacial wind. I wanted to be able to gaze across at magnificent and powerful landscapes, stretching out for kilometres into the distance.
A great deal remained to be done, including agreeing dates in advance, even if it meant having to endure difficult weather conditions. I needed to identify a more precise geographical area, draw up a rough itinerary, review the equipment I’d need and the conditions that I’d be facing.
So, here’s the rundown: I’d head for Hardangervidda National Park, right in the middle of the country, with a friend, for a fortnight of completely self-sufficient walking. It struck me as a good compromise between altitude and latitude. We’d be at the foot of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier, in a mountainous region, that should be accessible at that time of year.
To prepare the different stages, I relied on specialist guides. For safety reasons, I like to know the location of the refuges along my route, but this time, we’d have to do without them. Everything is closed until the middle of summer.
We’d set off from Kinsarvik, about 20 kilometres west of the National Park, halfway between Bergen and Oslo. We’d go to Geilo, 120 kilometres further west, walking roughly 200 km through the National Park. It’s essential to understand the meteorological and climatic conditions on the ground so you can choose and prepare the right material.
So the main difficulty would obviously be being fully self-sufficient. We’d be carrying all the food we needed for the trip, which would amount to a little over 3.5 kg per person. So we’d have to minimize the weight of the remaining equipment to avoid carrying more than 18 or 20 kg. Every gramme would count. We couldn’t afford to forget anything but we could only take the bare essentials. We couldn’t be short of food but neither could we take too much. In addition, I’d have no power supply so I needed to be sure to take enough batteries for my camera and gas for the stove.
Even in the month of June, Norway is a harsh country. The weather can be extremely changeable and it can be very cold. Humidity would undoubtedly be our greatest enemy: a lot of snow, frequent rain, wetlands, lakes and powerful, fast-flowing streams. Whatever happened, we’d have to protect ourselves as much as possible from the wet and ensure that we had somewhere dry to sleep.
Last minute information: The exceptional weather conditions forced them to amend our itinerary, for reasons of safety. So they had to abandon a section of Hardangervidda’s central plateau for a 4 day trek in the region of Geilo.
>>> See you next Thursday to discover the 2nd episode <<