Winter has officially arrived in the mountains. The snow has fallen, the trees are bare, and the terrain is a wintery mix of snow, ice, and slush. While others are posting photos from the pumpkin patch, I’m deep in winter preparations – cue the Christmas music. Most people consider this the off-season at the cabin, since the possibilities for hiking are limited and the trails for skiing are not yet made. I, on the other hand, find the changing of the seasons to be a magical time of year. Hence why Cody and I are still exploring the mountains while the neighboring cabins sit empty.
This past weekend, we were lucky to be joined by my mom Lise and our dog Daisy for yet another adventure. The four of us decided to hike to Istjern, a body of water that sits at 900 m.a.s.l. on the Norefjell mountain range. At this time of year, the snow covered peaks of Gråfjell, Høgevarde, and Ranten provide a stunning backdrop to the clear blue water. The lake is only about a half hour hike from our cabin, but when you factor in the biting winds and frozen terrain, you have yourself a thrilling adventure. In the spirit of October, I pulled on a pumpkin-colored ear warmer and earthy plaid scarf before setting out on the road.
The journey to Istjern begins just down from our cabin and follows alongside a stream that leads into the lake. We took our time navigating the wintery conditions, as the trail became increasingly slippery and the winds grew stronger. With a view of the lake straight ahead, we pushed forward and soon arrived at the most spectacular icicle display. The icicles hung off the bridge in all shapes and sizes and coated the branches like crystals – my mom and I were completely lost in admiration. Usually we can cross this bridge to circle back to our cabin, but since it was covered by a thick sheet of ice it was better not to take any chances. As we retraced our path back to the cabin, we took with us the memories of another magical mountain adventure.
What do you love most about the transition from autumn to winter? Leave a comment down below!