Evening sun at a small boathouse at Helsingvatnet in Hemsedal. With gray filter and telephoto lens this photo was taken on a September afternoon 2021.
Actually, the hike to the 543 m high Ryten with a view of the Kvalvika beach on the west coast of Flakstad was on our program today. But often it comes differently than planned – or it comes differently, because you have not planned.
Many parking lots at places of interest or starting points for popular hikes in Lofoten are subject to a fee. In most cases, the fees are paid either in cash or by Vipps, a digital payment system reserved for Norwegians. We simply forgot this in our planning and the parking lot in Innersand is of course no exception. Norwegian kroner or euros in our wallet? Unfortunately, no. 🤦
So we are a bit annoyed with ourselves and retreat, because not paying is also no solution.
Moltinden – a spontaneous plan B
We quickly need a replacement program to take advantage of this perfect sunny day. A challenge for me, because I prefer to know two days in advance where we are going, how many meters of altitude await me and what else there is to know. But now spontaneity is called for.
A bit haphazardly we leave the parking lot at Innersand and drive off. Shortly before Ramberg we spot a hiking trail on a mountain slope and think: That or none. So we pull our backpacks out of the van and just start walking. Destination? Still unknown and I’m curious what we find up there.
First wet, then steep
The Lofoten Islands and in general many coastal areas in Norway often offer exactly two different conditions for hiking trails: either they are really steep or they are wet and boggy. Sometimes both at the same time, but then it’s no fun at all.
But in the ascent to Moltinden it’s one after the other: first wet, then steep. Before we find the hiking trail we spotted from the road, a relatively flat stretch of meadow awaits us. So close to the coast we naturally encounter the typical swampy Lofoten landscape. With stork steps we wade through the calf-high undergrowth and try to prevent our hiking shoes from being flooded. This probably looks just as “graceful” as you imagine it in your mind’s eye right now. Two jumping jacks on tour.
Maybe not really elegant, but with dry socks and feet we reach the longed-for hiking trail. A small path, on which we don’t fiddle for long – the transition from flat marshy terrain to “damned, is that steep here” is really remarkable. Partly, the now rather stony path leads dead straight up the slope and at least with me already pinch after a few minutes clearly the calves. Both Norwegian hiking trail clichés fulfilled within a few minutes. Step by step we leave the road below us and climb in monotonous steps further and further up.