Day 1: Gjendesheim to Gjendebu along the frozen Lake Gjende. 21 km.

Today’s skiing was icy, flat, and monotonous. Ice is not the most comfortable ground to ski on. Most of the group described this as their least favourite kind of skiing; I actually quite liked it. You say monotonous – I say meditative.

For this year’s trip I bought my own equipment. I would have enjoyed last year’s trip a lot more if I hadn’t been struggling with the rented skis. Even though it took me a while to find my “skiing legs” and technique again, I could feel from the very start that these skis will work for me. This year I was not at the tail end of the pack, struggling to keep up. Not the fastest either, but that’s as expected, given the composition of the group. (8 strong men with (ex-)Army physique, 1 lady who goes skiing every weekend near her home in Geneva, and then myself and another “ordinary” lady.) I don’t mind being among the slower ones, I just want the skiing to be enjoyable rather than frustrating.

The clear air and wide vistas made it quite hard to judge distances. Sometime in the afternoon I spotted a thing that looked man-made. A shed belonging to tonight’s hut, I thought – the hut itself is probably behind a spur of the hill, like the place where we stopped for lunch. A few kilometers away perhaps. But after the next hour or so of skiing, the hut looked barely closer – it turned out that the “shed” I saw was in fact the whole hut complex, and quite a bit more than 2 km away.