This summer we’ve been hiking for two weeks in Norway’s Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park and its surroundings.
The area is roughly located at the polar circle’s latitude. It consists of a western section which features Svartisen glacier – Norway’s second largest glacier and an eastern part – Saltfjellet. Directly adjacent to it is the small Láhko National Park, founded in 2012. It is interesting in particular for its Karst formations.
A detailed description of our trip you can find in the travel report. Or you can watch 6 minutes of video summarizing our trip:
It is summer in the northern hemisphere and possibly you have some hot weather. In those conditions it is nice to cool down a bit – at least mentally :-). I’m slow at video editing and my day job also requires some of my time. But finally I completed the short video about my ski trip in Lapland last March. So, relax and cool down – I did the all the effort for you:
Some facts: 9 days out in the mountains, this time only 3 nights in the tent, the rest in huts. The weather was exceptional, but much colder than last year. I carried about 40 kg of overall gear (most of it on the sled). Roughly half of the distance was covered on the King’s Trail (Kungsleden) which is marked also in winter. The rest was less frequented and involved some steep sections (Tjäktja – Nallo) which were challenging with the sled – especially for me as a winter rookie.
My photographic equipment sometimes struggled with the cold and I needed to warm up the batteries to get the camera to work. Even the action camera I used needed to be kept warm – otherwise it would turn off after 2-3 seconds. But to me it was worth the effort.
I spent two nights in the Vistas hut and finally I got lucky during the second night: The northern lights presented a fantastic show with constantly increasing activity. The image above was made during the first “phase” of the spectacle. Later-on the whole sky lit up, also illuminating the landscape. I did not know anymore where to point the camera… Again, it was very cold which made handling the camera gear difficult. As I had been staying in the hut this time – opposed to the tent as two nights before – at least the batteries were not too cold to start with. In addition, I attached a powerbank to keep the camera shooting and was able to capture the timelapse of the aurora shown in the video below.
One of the advantages of viewing the aurora in the mountains in a remote location is the absence of light pollution which is visible in a lot of videos and images I found in the net. That night in Visttasvággi there was only the light of the aurora (and the stars).
Last month I have been to Lapland again for a 9-day trip on skis. I’m currently reviewing the images. On my 4th day I found a really nice camping spot at about 1100 m of altitude. When it got dark and the temperature dropped to about -20°C, I went outside in the hope for the northern lights to appear. Unfortunately, they did not appear that night. Instead, I captured the clear night sky without them:
That night I did not know that later on I would indeed witness a spectacular display of the aurora. Thus, I was a bit disappointed. However, after seeing the image on a larger screen I was quite happy with the result and feel that it was worth the effort.
In comparison to last year’s trip, the temperatures were a lot lower. This turned out to be a challenge for my mirrorless camera equipment. In fact, in the night when I took the image above my camera refused to work with a strange error at first. Fortunately, after warming the battery within my glove I could finally convince it to operate.
Painting with Light