30-Aug-2003 -- This confluence is as far as I know the most remote one in southern Norway, it is located about 35 km from the nearest public road, near the north end of lake Møsvann on the central Hardangervidda mountain plateau. Since we have a winter cabin by the south end of the lake, I've wanted to visit 60N8E for more than three years, but realized that it was too far for a skiing daytrip, even in perfect crust conditions.
Last fall we decided that the end of august 2003 would be the best time for a serious effort, and we decided that the most feasible method would be to use the boat (Fjellvåken II) that carries summertime mountain backpackers between the south and north end of the nearly 40 km long lake. The boat is an extremely shallow draft catamaran, with rubber bumpers on the front so that it can land anywhere, even on gravel and rock beaches.
We started from Oslo on friday August 29th, just after 1400 to be able to make the 200 km drive to Telemark county, past Rjukan and up to the lake in time for the boat's scheduled 1800 departure. When we got there we met my youngest brother Magne and his family who had driven a similar distance from Porsgrunn, located in the south end of Telemark.
The boat trip takes about two hours, however we had to wait an extra hour because a bus full of travellers had called ahead and told that they were delayed. At NOK 170 (more than $20) per person, this was too much money for the captain to leave behind. :-(
When we finally got to the north end, we still had to walk over 3 km to get to Mogen, one of the many mountain refuges maintained by The Norwegian Mountain Touring Association.
Dinner started at 2200, and afterwards we all fell asleep pretty quickly.
The next morning we got up early, ate a hearthy breakfast, and started on the 7.5 km hike to the confluence point. The first 3 km was along the lake, back towards the boat landing, but then we found the small path indicated on our maps, and started up the hillside.
Møsvann is used for hydro-electric power generation, so the water level can vary by 18.5 m over a few months. This weekend it was at about 915 m altitude, 3.5 m below the maximum of 918.5. From the lakeside we had to ascend a little over 300m, to about 1230 m, before dropping down by 60-70 m into a small hanging valley that contains the point.
The hike took us about 3 hours, when we got within the 100m limit we made camp, got water from the stream we'd just crossed, and started the burner to boil it for tea. The weather was really good: Some cloud cover, nice temperature, and almost perfectly calm.
While the water was heating, Magne and I took our GPSs along, and started to do "the zero dance". In the end our two receivers agreed within less than a meter, both had 11 sats in view.
After a nice lunch, we packed up and started back down again. It turned out that our uphill route choice had been so good that there was no need for anything but the most trivial modifications, and after the short uphill hike out of the hanging valley, past the boulder field visible in the middle of the main picture, it was downhill all the way to the lake. We made it back to the cabin a little before 1500, so the trip took nearly 6 hours.
Just two hours later, it started to rain and then hail came down. This was a precursor to the season's first snowfall which arrived that night!
That evening they served "rømmegrøt & spekemat", traditional norwegian celebration fare based on locally cured and smoked meat and sausages. We had a very nice confluence point to celebrate, so this was fitting.
We got up very early sunday morning as well, this time so that we could make it in time for the morning boat back. After the same 3 km hike and another two hours on the boat, where we could admire the newly snow-covered mountains we'd hiked through the day before, we got back to the car park.
We were met by my parents and joined them at their cabin nearby for a while before the three hour drive back to Oslo.