martedì 30 marzo 2010

Lofoten#4 - Torsk and Torskmannen

Today we want to ski the Torksmannen, a mountain on Austvågøya (Lofoten).
To say the truth we didn't plan in advance, but kinda stumbled on it while driving around the island...
An attractive, nice slope facing the sun... we just need to climb, enjoy and ski it.
At the start we meet some locals, they just came back from the top. They ski Telemark-style.
First they ask us where we come from. Then it comes:

Sentence of the day # 1 -" What kind of job do you have to be able to take so many holidays during this period of the year?"

The ascent starts in a birch forest, then we climb toward the right, sunny side. The snow is good, but it changes a lot: powder, crusty, sometimes icy.
Matteo's snowshoes are not as suited as skis to do this kind of things. If you feel your feet are not stable into the snow and, looking down, you see a snow slide ending on the rocks, well, tension is rising up a bit. Slow but steady, using some patience, we climb up passing a few difficult sections. We decide to bend and go toward a different saddle respect to the one we have above us. This will allow us to ski over some better snow during the descent, avoiding a section with crusty snow, well known to be a difficult customer.
We get to the top. And the scenery is breath-taking, as always. The sea merges with the snow on the mountains, tones of blue never seen before.
Downhill is even better, and at every turn I think to myself "Where the heck am I skiing?"
After this nice trip, we go for a small tour of the island and take a few pictures. The sea at low tide and the ice on the fjords, a continuous fight between water forms and proximity. The dried cods, the rorbur coming out of the sea and the mountain peaks. Everywhere.
Matteo says:

Sentence of the day #2 - This place is an automatic postcard generator!

I can only agree. And laugh.
We also tried the local fish, Torsk, that is the Cod when is laying the eggs. We tried it, we cooked it using the original, local recipe: boiled in salty water.
Nothing special, to say the truth. Not bad, but a bit boring.

(Thanks to Matteo for the translation from Italian)

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