Packrafting in Gautefall

12 comments
Packrafting, Trip stories
INFLATABLE FUN. Becky inflates the packrafts – the trip begins.

INFLATABLE FUN. Becky inflates the packrafts – the trip begins.

We were really supposed to have left on a Thursday, but with the prospect of extended flooding due to heavy rainfall, we chose to wait out the weather. Then came Friday 22 July and the unfathomable events: The bombing of the government quarter in Oslo and the subsequent massacre of youths on Utøya. It was impossible to leave. We did not leave until Sunday afternoon.

In some ways, it didn’t feel right to go off, to flee away. At the same time, it was good to be together and focus on something positive, almost a relief. Though the tragedy was difficult to comprehend for adults, it was almost impossible for the children.

It is a short train ride from Kongsberg to Drangedal. Nevertheless, the landscape changed a fair bit, and in Gautefall we were met by a fascinating landscape with large, smooth rock faces, open airy pine forests and small glittering ponds and lakes.

The morning after, we inflated our Denali Llamas, packrafts from Alpacka Raft. With a weight of about five pounds, they where ideal vessels for our impending “water skipping” – paddle from lake to lake with short but frequent portages in between.

The girls enjoyed to be captains of their own ship. All in all, we had a total of six days of quiet paddling, swimming, fishing and relaxation. The highlight was Hanetarmane, the little series of elongated ponds that meanders over a mile and a half in the middle of the beautiful area, like a string of pearls connected by the little creek. The landscape was open and bright, with large areas covered with polished rock surrounded by open pine forests. And as Siri said:

– I could live here. Mum [being a nurse] could look after us if we were sick or wounded, and dad could be our teacher.

PACKRAFT LIFE. We enjoy every moment we can put our boats on the lovely, little ponds.

PACKRAFT LIFE. We enjoy every moment we can put our boats on the lovely, little ponds.

PORTAGE. The portages are frequent, but rather short. The lightweight packrafts are a breeze to carry.

PORTAGE. The portages are frequent, but rather short. The lightweight packrafts are a breeze to carry.

TROUT. After a long day of packrafting, we managed to catch a fair sized trout in the early night.

TROUT. After a long day of packrafting, we managed to catch a fair sized trout in the early night.

SMOOTH ROCK FACES AND TWINKLING PONDS. Gautefall offers an exciting landscape that fits packrafting well.

SMOOTH ROCK FACES AND TWINKLING PONDS. Gautefall offers an exciting landscape that fits packrafting well.

OUTDOOR LUNCH. Sif prepares couscous with dried apricots, bouillon and chorizo sausage.

OUTDOOR LUNCH. Sif prepares couscous with dried apricots, bouillon and chorizo sausage.

SMOOTH ROCK. Large areas consists of naked, smooth rock that makes the portages a joy.

SMOOTH ROCK. Large areas consists of naked, smooth rock that makes the portages a joy.

NIGHTIME FISHING. Rookie packrafter Sif tries her luck at trout fishing in the late evening.

NIGHTIME FISHING. Rookie packrafter Sif tries her luck at trout fishing in the late evening.

PACKRAFT FLOATING. The girls float their packraft down a series of shallow rapids.

PACKRAFT FLOATING. The girls float their packraft down a series of shallow rapids.

THUNDER STORM. After enjoying days of blue skies, we get hit by a thunder storm.

THUNDER STORM. After enjoying days of blue skies, we get hit by a thunder storm.

PACKRAFT FOR TWO. Sif and Siri enjoys themselves in their little boat – a Denali Llama from Alpacka Raft.

PACKRAFT FOR TWO. Sif and Siri enjoys themselves in their little boat – a Denali Llama from Alpacka Raft.

Posted by

Outdoor magazine writer, author and photographer with a soft spot for biking and paddling.

12 thoughts on “Packrafting in Gautefall”

    • Alastair, I’m honoured to get the first comment on our fresh blog from you, thanks for the kind words! I guess you and Roman Dial have played no small role as inspiration when it comes to us getting started on packrafting in the first place.

      Like

  1. Reiner says:

    Indeed; awesome photos and the video is really süperb (eventhough I do not understand the language).🙂 Great stuff.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Sometimes half the distance is twice as good | Bushwhacking Scandinavia

  3. Really nice blog with some great photos. Don’t know why I haven’t found it before.

    The photography is great, too – I love the use of flash on the kids int the boat at the end.

    Like

  4. Chris says:

    Brilliant photography. I just showed these pics to my boys – they want to spend a summer like this too! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Like

  5. Chris says:

    Looks like a nice place to canoe!!! The pictures of your kids were awesome!!!! (From Jack, age 9.)

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  6. Andreas Völkl says:

    Hello Mikkel,

    thank you very much for your trip report and film footage in english. It inspired me a lot, because I have also two kids in nearly the same age. It is very interresting to see what is possible.
    I tried to find out which route you took from Drangedal, but was not able to find out. Can you give us more hints about your route?

    Andreas

    Like

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