Tufte-Prestholtseter-Hallingskarvet-Urundberget

I have not been updating this page for a couple of weeks now. My boyfriend have been visiting and the time have been spent mountain biking instead of hiking.  However, he returned to Germany a week ago and as usual after saying goodbye I have to stay occupied for at least a week or two before life is back to “normal” again. The big tourist streams are gone but we still have busy days at the hotel and the cold summer have turned into a rather warm and welcoming autumn. The nights are colder and pitch dark with only the stars to give a bit of light.

Even though it at times gets lonely up here I am forever thankful for having the great outdoors just around my corner, where I am able to contemplate life and just be for a while. Sometimes discovering new grounds alone can be frustrating since I have no one to share it with- other times it is more than perfect since in really allows me to sort out my thoughts and emotions and charge my batteries for work. I truly believe that people who spend a lot of time outdoors are happier.

This week´s detour aimed for Hallingskarvet  (Prestholtskarvet) and the the Prestholttrail (Prestholtruten) before I set my direction along a low mountain ridge towards Urundberget and then back to Tufte where I parked my car. The trail starts directly from road 7 (follow the blue sign to Prestholtseter, 6.5km) and climbs up across the mountain through birch forest and along the Eima stream and waterfall  before I reached the top of the mountain plateau. As the case often is up here there are not really any train markings- once in a while there is some red paint on a stone showing that you are right. However, there is only one trail to Prestholtseter and as long as you are heading towards Hallingskarvet it is probably impossible to get lost.

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A few hundred meters after the trail starts one must cross the railroadtracks.
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Blue sky and yellow trees!

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Urundberget- the hillock in the background
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The Eima stream

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Eima and Prestholtskarvet in the backround- todays hike went up over the snowfield and then back on the right of the mountain
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Autumn in the mountains

Prestholtseter is what they in the Alps call an Alm- a typical mountain farm where the animals are moved in order to grass during the summer season. Thus it is possible to buy fresh goat cheese in one of the buildings and there is also a very cosy cafee (the main red building) however, to be sure that it is open check with the tourist information in Geilo! I took a break to refill with coffee and eat something before I headed in the direction “Prestholtruten” in order to get up to Hallingskarvet and then cross the mountain and walk back to Tufte. Prestholtrunden is a 6.5km trail that starts and ends at Prestholtseter. However, it connects to some other trails (unmarked) along the way.

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The cafee at Prestholtseter and the Prestholtrunden signpole
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The start of the stairs
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Silence and an amazing view over Hardangervidda and Ustaoset
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Prestholtseter

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Soon up!
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Stairway to heaven!

The trail up to the top is rather easy to walk. It might be physically demaning to ascend but since Sherpas from Nepal have built stairs all the way up it is easy to walk and you do not really have to mind where you put your feet. When you reach the top you will have climbed 2000 stairs and the last few meters makes you feel like you are on a stairway to heaven. 

At the top there is big cairn and next to it is the signpole pointing out Prestholtrunden. From here the trail will be marked by stones that have been painted red. However- since the next kilometre or two will take you through some rather stony terrain it would most likely be hard to see the markings in chase of bad weather and fog. 

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The cairn at Hallingskarvet (1600m) and the direction of Prestholtrunden
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The trailmarking from now on. How many red stones can you see?
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View over Ustaoset
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Another signpole
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Stones, stones and some more stones
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The view over Prestholseter and the road leading there. My hike continued along the low (greenish) mountainridge to the left.
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Hiker, slightly out of focus. Selfies are often harder than the walk itself.
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The Eima stream on the right before it disapears down to Tufte where the trail started.

I decided to take another way back to Tufte than I initially planned. Instead of taking the same trail back to to Tufte I decided to walk along a low mountain ridge since I saw a trail their when I walked down Hallingskaret. This trail was however unmarked- but as long as you are able to orientate yourself in the landscape (in good weather it is not hard since the landscape is rather flat) it should be easy.

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After a few hundred meters along the ridge the trail gets more visible
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The trail along the ridge offers a good view over the area
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Looking back at Hallingskarvet
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Urundberget to the left (the hillock) and the trail just to the right of the black cottage
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The trail back down to Tufte – Ustedalsfjorden to the left.

All in all with a few coffee breaks and a lot of stops for photographing I was back at the car after 6,5 hours, happy but tired- just as it should be!

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