Erdalsetra – Vetledalseter hike and lodge

Well, who the heck can resist a quick refreshing dip in crystal clear glacial river after a hot hike? Only Strynekåpa was watching.. I think 😀

Oppstryn. This pearl of a hike through glacial valleys and precipitous mountain sides is as long or as short as you want it to be, do a morning speed hike, a day trip with your family or stay overnight. I did one of the “longer” versions since I had to bicycle upwards the part most people drive up, and as my “roommate” had her boyfriend coming for visit – it was a win/win opportunity to spend a night in one of DNT’s* mountain cabins. (you can too! – se more information at the end of this post).

Along this trail you will here and there have a glimpse of Jostedalsbreen parts among the mountain peaks, wich is the largest glacier on the European mainland.

Having a break from bicycling upwards.. the view is awesome..down there is Oppstrynsvatnet, but this time I will take you away from the lake for a day and into glacial valleyserdalen bicycle oppstrynsvatnet oppstryn stryn hiking vandring fjelltur nature landscape view travel blogger

It was a wonderful morning with the very best weather to wish for.. after biking a while on the main road 15 to the end of the lake, I took off upwards and into Erdalen.. it was an absolute thrill bicycling along this mountain road while the mist was still covering the mountain peaks..

Now and then I could hear or see the rumble and roar when spring avalanches came sliding downwards along the mountain side..Erdalen Jostedalsbreen mountain hike view

Finally I reached the parking area Loppeset where also the trail starts, and left my bicycle lashed to a tree. The first part of the trail into Erdalsetra/Storesætra is nice and easy. still slightly covered with a little bit soft snow here and there in the spring.

Arriving at Erdalsetra a cute dog came running to welcome me. I started to talk to a woman who was cleaning and preparing her old mountain hut for the summer, and she invited me in to see the old hut inside. Oh so very cosy and charming. Nnd now and then mountain teams sleep over in the cabins before they start crossing the Jostedalsbreen glacier.

A very welcoming sight indeed, a happy welcoming dog, scenic views and gorgeous old mountain farm huts – I am in heaven for a while…Erdalsetra ERdalen hiking seter mountain farm Strynekåpa

While we sat there talking at that old awesome carved wood table she showed, me we heard that rumble again, she shouted that it was a big part of Skadefonna (avalanche) that was coming down the mountain side, so we ran out to see it.. and got it on tape too.. wohaa what a sight! .. it can be a bit scary if you don’t know what is happening, but as long as you are in a safe distance it is a really cool experience, and happens most often during spring time…

After saying goodbye I continued on the last part to Vetledalssetra, with a bit more snow along the trail, but fully possible to handle. I had the DNT-key* to access the cabin (in case it was locket), and packet up my stuff indoor and took an extra afternoon hike uphill and could not resist a quick wash in the crystal clear glacial river. You can also continue to the right of Strynekåpa for a shorter hike up to the emergency hut Infimus to get a closer view of the glacier. 

Strynekåpa is for sure a guiding monument through this hike, and the peak are looming about 1530 m.a.s.l. over the valleys.. trails both to the right and left side of it leads up to enter the glacier itself.. where you will need a guide if you are not experienced!hiking strynekåpa stryn erdalen vetledalen trail vandrin turg

I can tell you right away that nothing extraordinary or too exiting stuff happened on this hike, I was just enjoying the peaceful solitude with no internet connections..(yeas I tried alright), and taking care of the need to reload after being super-social… give my head a rest and fill up with energy.

Surroundings like this is of a very healing nature, and it is absolutely wonderful that doctors finally have started to prescribe it as medicine for mental health!

At Vetledalssetra there are a few but very beautiful and well maintained huts still in use… this one is my favourite!Vetledalsseter hytte cabin traditional Strynekåpa mountain Jos

The only “happenings” here was me getting the wood-burning stove going (the gas stove was empty) to cook a simple supper and a gigantic cup of coffee on it, enjoying the beautiful sunset outdoor, accompanied by rumbling glacier avalanches now and then …and a glass of white wine on top of it all (someone left it in the cabin for someone like me..ha..ha). A lovely day and just what I needed to reset and reload.

Who needs TV or Internet here? Nobody!!vetledalsetra DNT hytte cabin fjelltur cosy lodging firewood nature mountains natural jostedalsbreen vandring vetledalen hiking trail stryn oppstryn travel blog

Since no other hikers came along that evening, I decided to  stay in the living room near the wooden stove and sleep on a old wooden sofa  – oh it was so nice to just lie there looking out on the snow-covered mountain peaks and listen to the crackling fire-place…. guess who slept like a stone!

A wonderful day is turning into night, and even if I am alone I feel so safe up here and wish everyone in this world could feel the same… the old gneiss hut to the right is almost as beautiful and steady as the mountain itself, built to last… more of that please..Vetledalsetra sunset mountain farm glacial valley

 

Map and information:

This route is an old road/cattle track used to get up on and crossing the glacier (the glacier reached further into the valley those days) to the other side, bringing their livestock all the way over the glacier to provide people on the eastern side of Norway with fresh meat. Just imagine the sight of this procession – wow!

Map and some further information at UT.NO

kart map oppstryn erdalsetra storesæter vetledalsetra trail sti jostedalsbreen

 

DNT: As a member of DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) you will also get a discount on lodging and food/supplies at most of DNT’s huts and cabins all over Norway, and also access to a key that will work on most cabin locks. It sure is lovely when you don’t need to carry a too heavy backpack when hiking in the Norwegian mountains. Read more at DNT’s homepage.

If you have any questions regarding this post, please ask, I am sure there are plenty of stuff I forgot to write about ! 🙂

Visit Stryn of Norway

So, there I was once again for the 3. summer, lashing my heavy packed bicycle in the car cargo room on Hurtigruten from Bergen. This time I spent only 1 night at MS NordNorge, and early next morning (devastated to miss that delicious breakfast-buffè onboard though) I disembarked at Måløy with my packed bicyckle and continued to Stryn and Oppstryn where I would live and work for about a month.

Oppstryn: The awesome view from the cosy cabin I shared with a colleague for a month. Pretty close to work, and only about 10 km to nearest grocery shop around the lake. Yez, it was always a panoramic pleasure to grab the bicycle and go shopping some food 😉Oppstrynsvatnet Oppstryn Stryn

It was very exciting to start at my new job at Jostedalsbreen National Park Center. Let me tell you, it was a very hectic month with so much new stuff to learn about the national park itself (fauna, flora, glaciers, history etc), work routines and other tasks at the center. But oh so interesting and varied, never a dull moment!

The center was undergoing a massive revamp, and one of the new things I really like is that they wanted to focus more on and offer local produced products to visitors –  like apple jelly made of apples from Flo village right across the lake, beer from the microbrewery Olden Bryggeri, locally hunted venison and cured meat from Stryn, delicious chocolate from Geiranger and Norwegian-made knit wear, and no more “made in Taiwan” – I fully believe this is the right way to go and a huge step up in travel business.

Back down at the lake again after an afternoon hiking up to a mountain pasture after work. This lovely view is only about 200 meters from my work place Jostedalsbreen National Park Center by the lake Oppstrynsvatnet 

And again I discovered how I really loved to meet and talk with the visitors, and to help and inform them about more or less hidden treasures to visit in the area, especially when I had been there myself and therefore able to give them good advice and details about the place.

Oppstrynsvatnet – just another glorious morning on my way to work – who wouldn’t like to go for a little rowboating right there? Oppstrynsvatnet Oppstryn Stryn

Stryn and Oppstryn do have a very central location – with famous attractions like Geiranger, Gamle Strynefjellsvegen, summer ski center, Loen, Lom, Jostedalsbreen and Olden as some of the super hot neighbours “just around the corner.”

NB! If you stay in Stryn area you will have access to a lot, but please check IF the mountain roads to Geiranger and Gamle Strynefjellsvegen are open at vegvesen.no – see the map or call them just to avoid the long way around or any disappointments as sometimes certain mountain pass will have to open late, and it is not done on purpose I can assure you 😉

So the sun don’t always shine – and we all know that. But unless it is pouring rain, I’m out there on my way to adventures, here somewhere along Oppstrynsvatnet on my bicycle heading for a weekend in Loen..magic..

I’m sure you understand why I was very determined to explore the area every second I was “off duty”. With no car and rear/no bus connections I instead trusted my bicycle to get around as I usually do in summer, it makes the hikes a bit heavier alright, but it was so much worth it! I think about everything I see and meet that most people just drive by!

And.. I still can’t believe how I managed to visit and experience all those places I did in this area despite the sorry weather sometimes, all the work for my clients in the evenings and of course my job at the center… that’s pure will and a huge bunch of curiosity right there!  😀

Passing by a boat house before I arrive the center of Stryn – I don’t think an ordinary mirror is necessary in Stryn, just go down to the lake and do your hair or make-up    Boat house lake naust Norway

Just you stay tuned, and I will show you a lot more of what I saw, did and hearted! ❤