Norway. Discovering the fjords in the fall.

This is going to be the first time I write in aventures guide about soft adventure. It comes out  of two main reasons. The first and most important of all, is that we do not need to be hardcore to enjoy the outdoors, neither to go out there wandering. Second, as you may know, I work in Norway as an Outdoor guide, and I’m constantly hearing people been bitter about how bad weather it can be in Norway, about how boring Norway is in bad weather and how bad of a holiday they have had.

Weather is always a concern when organizing trips in Norway, no matter the period of the year. Some people don’t seem to grasp that what we call summer in Norway is very far from what it can be in Florida.

At the same time, it’s rough weather and dramatic landscapes what makes Norway, Norway; and to be fair, some of my best and most successful trips in Norway have been in the fall in let’s say, proper Norwegian weather.

The fall also brings its joys. Finally after some hectic months of tourism and local overcrowding, Norway starts to breath at it’s own speed again. The colours of the fall, the magic of the first snowflakes, the metalic glow of the blue skyes, the first northern lights…

What I consider extremely important for a successful fjord trip in the fall is preparation. Days are shorter, it freezes in the nights and rain will most likely be present, probably even snow on the mountains at any point from end of august on.

The gear has to be on point. You will have to understand that you will need proper hiking boots and high end mountain clothes, what you may use in a warmer latitude for september hikes has a big chance that won’t even do the job in the city in the fall in Norway. It just won’t work. Not a chance.

The fall is not all about bad weather either, if you check properly weather charts you will notice that in a great percentage of any given year, weather can be dryer towards september and october than around august.

Norway is beautiful because it’s wild. Hikes are not necessarily marked, paths are steep, narrow, quite often we need to cross swamp lands and ability to read a map and navigate on complex terrain is a must. Weather is very changeable; we may start up the day in t-shirt and end up with a down jacket and a rain cape trying to find our cabin in the wind.

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That doesn’t mean that those activities are strenuous, extreme or out of reach for a large collective of travellers. However, if we lack the real outdoor experience, terrain knowledge and the understanding of local microclimates, then it’s perhaps not a bad idea to hire a guide.

I must point out again the knowledge of local microclimates. Especially when storms are coming from the west, it is very important to be adaptative, don’t try to stick to a fix plan and be able to adapt seeking areas with good weather or less bad weather. That can be the tricky part; it takes some years under the rain until you start getting the micro climates of the fjord region slightly figured out. However it is of great importance. It can make the difference of spending your holiday looking out of your hotel window hoping for not apocalyptic weather or been out there enjoying a great day under some sporadic episodes of moderate rain.

Rain can make certain things impossible. It can be nasty to try to find dry rock for a proper rock trip; while at the same time, rain doesn’t really matter when kayaking or even surfing. Actually it makes some of the coolest and most dramatic days in the water.

You cannot go wrong neither with cabins. Always a great ressource in the vast fjords landscapes. As we call it, “koselig”, or cozy in english, is always a great plan on those longer evenings and it makes a great base camp for midday hikes around the mountain plateaus, to the snowy mountain caps or even to try to fish some trouts in the mountain lakes.

You can find more information, adventures and photos in my instagram @onthebelay and do not hesitate on dropping a mail for more information and planning your next adventure.

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