Photo: Evening light shines over the mountains of Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway. August, 6, 2023. 21:52
It is that time of year when I begin to remind myself to put a headlamp in my backpack – which of course will take me several weeks and multiple evenings wandering dawn from mountains in an ever darkening sky to actually do so. And despite a late summer heat wave this week, the signs are already here that the best of summer is over for this year. I’m looking forward to autumn, and have some big hiking plans, but I still wish summer would last a little longer here in the north. Despite the return of the northern lights in a couple weeks, I’m not ready for the long, cold nights yet.
Lofoten had a fantastic summer this year. Warm, dry, and calm, it was the best summer for a while. Even so, I found myself lacking motivation for much hiking and generally only visited my local ‘exercise’ mountains of Haugheia or Smordalskammen just to keep up a bit of fitness. This was also the first summer where I’ve felt a bit overcrowded. It was as busy with tourism as ever. But more so, local changes like new, expensive parking fees, and the closing of previously existing parking areas, have made it more difficult to visit my favorite areas. For example, it is cheaper for me to take my van to Værøy for a weekend than it now is to camp at Bunes or Horseid beach due the near extortion level of the parking cost in Reine – which is even more expensive than parking at the airport or in Tromsø or Bodø. If one enjoys hiking, it is getting expensive to visit many areas of Lofoten these days.
I also find myself looking beyond Lofoten much more these days, to other areas of Norway and beyond. I’m 3/4th through my biggest ebook project yet – more info once things come closer to completion early next year hopefully, as well as a new 200km hike which I’ll hopefully complete this autumn. So I’ve actually been taking a lot of photos, just not that much of Lofoten, and even less so of Lofoten’s mountains. Maybe once these two big projects (hopefully) are completed next year, I’ll feel a bit less pressure and will be out and about around Lofoten again. There are still plenty of new mountains for me to hike, even on nearby Vestvågøy, such as this image from Blåtind from last Sunday.
Head over to my Instagram account for (almost) daily postings of the local conditions here on Lofoten: @distant.north
Nikon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6