The thermometer showed -15°C when we left the car. It was a miracle we had even made it to the car park. The last 15 minutes had been a drive up a hill on a small track. It had been snowing constantly for the last 72 hours and the landscape a little east of Røros was covered in thick white layers. The twigs of the fir trees around us were bending down under the enormous load of snow. It was already dark, but the moonlight was reflected on the snow, so we didn’t need our torches. Within minutes, we felt the cold creep up our sleeves. Hastily, we picked up our bags and started walking into the woods. We couldn’t see much and the walk seemed to be dragging on and on, although it was just supposed to be 20 minutes from the car park.
Out of nowhere a river appeared right in front of us. Not a small one, but a proper one. We couldn’t just jump to the other side, it was about 4 metres wide. It was frozen on the surface, but below we could still see the water flow. We stood there, staring at the ice. Was it solid enough? Would we break in? We had no other choice than to try it. One by one we slowly crawled across the river at a snail’s pace. The ice made cracking sounds, and we were relieved when everyone had made it safely to the other side. Not even a minute later, the cabin came into sight.
We opened the door of the wooden cabin. Inside it was definitely warmer, but no-one had been in that cabin for a week, so definitely warmer meant it was about 0°C. First things first, we had to get it warm in there.
Maybe I should mention, that was a pretty old-school cabin. No electricity, no running water, no heating. Instead, it an old stove to make a fire in, a petroleum lamp and a stream right beside the door. Well, the stream was frozen, but there was plenty of fresh and untouched snow to be melted. We swept the ashes out of the stove, put new logs in and got the fore going. It wasn’t long until the small room was getting nicely warm. With a cup of hot chocolate each, we sat in front of the stove, played games and talked for hours. I don’t think we would have spend so much time in actual conversation with all the modern technology around.
When we finally went to bed all tucked up on benches around the stove, we knew that we’d wake up early in a freezing hut. And we were right. The sun was just rising over the hill tops. With a new fire going, we made breakfast before packing up and heading back.
Finally, we saw the beauty of the winter wonderland around us. Icicles hanging from the cabin, trees covered in powdery snow and the sparkling and twinkling of reflected sunrays everywhere. It was a truly magic view.