The hike around Storekrækkja in the Hardangervidda National Park does not score with altitude. But with a quiet landscape that invites you to almost meditative hiking.
We like to walk up mountains, stand on peaks and enjoy the view from a little further up. Somehow, this often gives us the feeling of getting distance. Distance from everyday life, from work, from problems that are actually occupying us at that moment. In addition, mountain landscapes offer us simply incredible backdrops and color diversity for our photography.
But always only mountains?
Hardangervidda: big scenery, small human.
We asked ourselves: Does it have to be a summit? And what do we do in bad weather?
We have found out: When the sky is full of clouds, the wind is blowing around our noses, and a summit would probably be the most inhospitable place we’d want to be right now, we’re perfectly happy to go flat.
Our Norway trip 2021 has led us via Geilo to Fagerheim in the Hardangervidda National Park. There we arrive unfortunately in rather lousy weather, the wind is icy and it looks suspiciously like rain. We set off anyway and hope that we can leave our rain gear deep down in our backpacks.
With the camera in the luggage and despite stormy cold wind surprisingly good mood we start. The goal: a round around the lake Storekrækkja. Nevertheless, I remain skeptical. The hike looks long and boring. My thoughts on the first hundred meters: “What’s there to photograph during a lake circuit and the flat path is endless.
And then it quickly becomes apparent: it will be long, but certainly much less boring than anticipated. The sandy path playfully winds its way through the round rocks scattered everywhere on faded meadows. Cottongrass flutters in the wind and the small wind-generated ripples break on the stones that line the shore of Storekrækkja. Every now and then our little path is interrupted by streams that flow into the lake as inlets.
A different kind of summit.
The colors of the sky and lake blend into a mass of blue and gray, while the landscape around us is covered in a dull greenish beige. The hills and rocks break through the carpet of grass and provide splashes of light gray color in the landscape.
We left just before noon and on a sunny day the light at this time of day would be absolutely unfavorable to take home nice photos as a souvenir. The sky covered with clouds, however, creates a pale light and thus good conditions to take photos despite midday.
After an hour we reach a place where the rocky shore gives way to a sandy beach several meters wide. Other temperatures and we might be ready to wade in the waves of Storekrækkja and cool off. But with the current weather, we prefer to keep our feet in our warm socks and I prefer to land on a boulder when jumping into the lake instead of going for a swim.
Almost exactly at the half of our tour we cross a bridge and reach the Krækkja tourishytte. Here there would be probably still many photo motives, with which we can pass the time. At the moment, however, the hunger drives us further, because we do not want to stop because of the increasing Corona numbers. So we keep looking for a place where we can enjoy our own (albeit somewhat late) lunch, protected from the wind. What I would give now for a cup of hot coffee. But unfortunately I don’t have it with me in my backpack.
Water wherever you look.
Full and lively again, we take the second half, so to speak the way back, under our feet. In contrast to the other side of the lake, the path here no longer follows the lakeshore, but winds gently up and down over several small hills. From the small elevations, new views of the surrounding lake-rich landscape of Hardangervidda open up each time and we enjoy being able to stretch our heads a little further. How was that with the “we can also flat”?
After a good three hours we are back at our van in Fagerheim. The wind is still blowing and we can’t pull the sliding door shut behind us fast enough and finally put on some warm coffee. ☕️😊
Warmed up and rested, we come to the conclusion: The mood for hiking and photography should not be spoiled by the gray sky, wind eats away at your strength and at least for the Storekrækkja applies: flat is beautiful.
Product Designer and Content Creator. Whether digital or in "real" life, Marina is convinced that really good experiences depend on the story behind them. She gets the best inspiration for content and digital experiences on the road. As a part-time digital nomad, she sometimes works from home and sometimes from the van - with a view of rugged coastal or glacier landscapes.
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