We knew the trail to Vassendsetra would be difficult because of the water. It was–all 10.5 hours of it, including seven “Croc” events.
Essentially, we followed a river to its source, went over a pass, then down to the hut. Going was easy in the beginning.
We saw this little reindeer.
This torrent was beside us much of the way. Often, we could not converse because of the roar.
Of course the tributaries were flooded and the trail soon became a muddy mess, but we were used to this by now and trudged on.
We passed through an area of high grass. We were amazed that it had grown that tall in this climate.
Crossings were the excitement of the day. Some crossings had small trees placed across. These were easy.
Most we had to either jump or Croc.
Finally, we arrived at the pass, which was also the source of the roaring river. The pass was broad and covered with sick snow patches, some of which we didn’t dare cross.
A couple of times, we kept our Crocs on over snow banks between streams. Crossing a snow bank in Crocs–now that’s an adventure!
At one point, we couldn’t cross the stream below the snow bank and had to climb the steep mountainside above it.
I never questioned Roger’s judgment as to whether a patch of snow was safe to cross. I was thankful for his experience.
And then came the worst crossing of the day, which looks innocuous in the photo.
This one was flowing so fast that it took every ounce of strength to move my legs, but I knew I had to before they got too cold to move at all. The icy water was about knee-deep.
Before this trip, I had never crossed a stream deeper than ankle-high. However, I like to read outdoor magazines and sometimes an article would discuss the do’s and don’ts. I was thankful I had read not to turn my back on the stream. If I had, I might not be writing this.
Finally, we were over the pass and it was an easy descent to Vassendsetra.
Vassendsetra is not much changed from when it was a farmer’s summer cabin. No electricity, no plumbing. Gather water from the spring:
Use the outhouse out back.
Enjoy the friendly ambiance.
We shared the cabin with a young couple from Trondheim who had come up to Vassendsetra from Gjevilvasshytta. According to the log book, we were the first hikers of the season to come from Trollheimshytta to Vassendsetra.
This couple told us stories of Norwegian legends. When the cabins were left empty during the winter, folk from the underworld would come up to inhabit them. Therefore, when the farmer arrived in the spring, he needed to knock before entering to avoid frightening them. Likewise, one would not pour boiling water on the ground without warning. The folk of the underworld were not evil and were benign if they were respected. However, if mistreated they would seek revenge perhaps by killing your calf.
Often, girls in their late teens stayed the entire summer alone in these cabins tending the animals. It was quite useful to have her believe that if a strange man came along, he might be from the underworld and she should run.
Trolls were just benign dimwits that were useful scapegoats when something went wrong.
The next day we returned to Gjevilvasshytta.