Some current students have been especially enthusiastic to experience local outdoor possibilities; this was noticeable when they woke up one Sunday morning last winter and carried skis for an hour to a nearby skiing area, to then “ski on skins” up the slopes and spend the day romping on the slopes before walking back to campus.

With sub-zero temperatures and no snow over the last week, frost structures building beautifully on campus, conditions seemed perfect for a hike up Storehesten, the big mountain seen en route to Førde. After assembling a “matpakke” in the kantine, and a 40 minute drive, five student enthusiasts and a recently-arrived South Dakotan started walking around 10:15 in sub-zero sunshine. It was surprisingly warm, the path was frozen dry and a rapid pace saw us lose the sun around the expansive North slopes, to reach the top within 2 hours. Whoops of delight for the sunny panorama on top, the open ocean and islands 40kms west, Jostedal glacier 40 kms east and, below, the village of Bygstad covered in a thick layer of white frost, permanently shielded from winter sun by the hills on the south.

With the Christmas dinner set to start at 17:00, some haste was needed, resulting in a fine “jogge-tur” over the open slopes. A rest to explore the thick ice on a frozen lake, helped cool participants. Back at the car within 90 mins of the top, the gang managed (in footwear impressively ill-suited to the task) some thin lay-away moves up a pillar placed at the parking lot. All in all, deep appreciation for frost, ice, dry rough rock, (sort-of) warming sun, vast blue skies, 360 degree views through crystal clear air, and the fun of moving over a mountain in these winter conditions.