Today's ride went over the Pragelpass, approaching it from Schwyz. According to Wikipedia this approach is on place 2 in terms of maximum gradient (18%) in all of Switzerland (and seriously, it is demanding ). This ride is also my new longest ride ever, the previous record was 170km from Santa Clara to Half Moon Bay, along the Pacific Coast and back . It's apparently not my biggest climb though, that one still goes to Mt. Hamilton in the Bay Area . But I'm sure Switzerland has a pass with which I can beat that personal record as well :P.
172km (107mi) / 2873m (9426ft) climbing
Our trip started at the northernmost permanent settlement of the world in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, at 78º latitude. We then went on to mainland Norway and stayed in Flåm, Bergen, Stavanger and finally Oslo. During the trip we did plenty of hiking to many famous and not so famous spots:
- Hjortfjellet: plenty of hiking along a snow-covered ridge, but rewarded with great views of the area. On the way down we stopped at an abandoned mining entrance and other remnants of Svalbard's coal mining activity. [strava.com/activities/344825374]
- Trollsteinen & Sarkofagen: probably my favorite hike on this trip. After hiking across the Lars glacier and climbing the Troll's rock, the views from the very top were absolutely breathtaking. Additionally, the weather was just perfect. [strava.com/activities/344825376, somewhat incomplete]
- Trolltunga: (by the way, Norwegians seem to love trolls!) a quite strenuous hike due about 22km distance, ~16 of which were still covered in snow and the occasional down-pouring of rain. But at least we got a nice view at the Troll's tongue (for about 10 minutes, then it started raining again). [strava.com/activities/344825494]
- Preikestolen: probably one of the most popular hiking trails. It's very easy, took us about 2 hours of moving time in total. Unfortunately it was very cloudy that day, so we didn't get a good view from the top. [strava.com/activities/344825437]
- Kjeragbolten: the one hike that we had to abort on our trip after ~1km. The weather was just too bad and once we stepped out on a small ridge, the wind was pushing way too hard to go on. At least this gives me a reason to go back some time :)
- Kolsås: while Oslo was mostly sightseeing, we did a small hike west of the city since it was suddenly all sunny and warm again. Kolsås is composed of two peaks which we both reached. [strava.com/activities/344825473]
Apart from that, we used many other forms of movement, e.g. riding on Snowmobiles, being pulled by dogs or Kayaking across Fjords. All in all it was a great experience and I will definitely go back some day to redo the hikes in hopefully better weather :) Also, experiencing Svalbard during winter is definitely something on my to-do list.
Here's are a bunch of photos with additional comments along the way.
Road bike? Check.
All set for the weekend.
Hello, Bay Area!
I should get a new bike as well, though. While this one is just a rental, it seems to handle quite a bit better (in curves etc.) than my own bike (maybe it's the carbon frame? I've only ever ridden aluminium before).
At least it gives me a reason to come back to Norway another time, and I definitely will :-)
- Software Engineer, 2014 - presentImage Search Infrastructure
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