For years I have been looking for lines on maps where I can give free to my imagination, and since I live in Northern Norway: virgin and unspoiled territory of the European Arctic, I have been chaining happy packraft and ski trips through the Finnmark county for years.
The municipality of Loppa, Finnmarksvidda, or the island of Seiland are my dearest treasures, the place where I have spent some of the happiest days of my outdoor life. But after years of travelling tirelessly the territory, I am also starting to run out, and I have to focus on new places (new to me) where I can continue to do the same kind of trips without having to repeat myself.
Six years ago I did a traverse across the Svartisen glacier combining skis and packraft which I remember as one of the best trips of my life.
Packraft and ski trips are my favourite; they combine my two passions: paddling and skiing.
Spending months obsessively looking at maps always pays off, and in the end I ended up finding a possible "perfect" route across Fjords and Norway's largest glacier: the Jostedalsbreen. But the crossing actually started far from the glacier, in a world heritage fjord, and ended in another world heritage fjord; Norway's only two world heritage fjords: Geiranger and Nærøy.
This route I mention is actually several routes. Paddling the Geiranger fjord, walking to the glacier, paddling the Oppstrynvannet (lake), crossing the Jostedalsbreen glacier by the classic route from Erdal to Flattbrehytta, paddling the fjords of Fjaerland, Sogne, Aurland and Naeroy. More than 200 km with skis and packraft, although the 15 km of asphalt between Hellesylt and Volset we decided to do in a taxi to avoid walking with heavy backpacks on a road without much interest, and the crossing across the width of the Sogne, between Hella and Vagnes, I did with the line ferry. Too much water for my self.
My friend Juan Diego Amador accompanied most of the trip. From Fjaerland to Gudvangen I continued on my own, paddling under the heavy rain that never left me for a moment.
During the crossing, some nights we slept in tent, others in cabins and others in campsites. As you pass through different villages you can buy food, stay in campsites or even send equipment back home by post, as I did from Fjæerland with all the gear I no longer needed.
I didn't try to set any records, but to make the most beautiful trip possible and enjoy it intensely, even though the weather wasn't always good.
I would like to thank my partner Juan Diego Amador, without whose company this trip would not have been a success, and also Norse Packraft for giving me a Dry suit that has turned out to be an essential piece of my equipment and which I recommend.