28 July 2013

Preikestolen Hike - GO Isotonic Energy Gel [by @NLi10]

Previously on FoodStuffFinds I ate an unexciting but filling protein flapjack in preparation for something - but what!

It was this hike up to the Pulpit Rock (or Preikestolen) in Norway.  This is a very simplified map of the route - just walk up.  


As you can see the walk is 4km in each direction from the car park and very steep in places so we wisely took lots of water and cereal bars and I took a few of these little energy gel packs.


I got one with caffeine and one without, and naturally had the caffeinated one first to get me to the top.  I supplemented this with water out of my lovely Eden Project refillable water canister that usually sits on my work desk but would get to go on a proper hike for once.

This was a 'berry' flavour one and while it did taste vaguely fruity it certainly got me going and I was happily bounding up the gravel trail up to the first check point.  I finished it off here and we carried on some more.  The going gradually got more rocky and less like a steep walk in the woods and I began to flag a little.  As it said you could have these in multiples to help combat fatigue I moved on to the second one. 


This 'orange' one had a more citric taste to it and none of the caffeine which was probably just as well.  It helped with the walk and we battled on through the light rain that had descended.  This brought with it a slippy path and lots of cloud cover that we walked upwards and into.


Some of this involved natural stone steps like the above, some of these had waterfalls going down them (which got deeper due to the rain) and resulted in damp feet.  There were swamps, ravines and lakes to be traversed but eventually we made it to the top to see the amazing views!


Unfortunately the cloud beat us there! Luckily I'd brought nature's energy gel - the banana - so we took a few slightly sarcastic pictures and stood near the edge (which looked like you could just step off onto the clouds) and sat down for a picnic.

Due to the high winds (and spending a good while up there) the clouds started to rise and thin.



Until we could actually see the water below! Here is a short video peering over the edge and a picture from the vantage point overlooking the vantage point!


Unfortunately at this point we spotted that next to that green patch at the very, very bottom left of the picture there was a little white line.  Use of the binoculars confirmed that this was indeed Ms. NLi10's water bottle so I went on a 15 min detour back down to get it (and got a few more pictures of me on the rock from a distance) and then back up again.  It was at this point that I really had to use nature's toilet facilities to get rid of all the caffeine from the first GO Iso Gel - an unfortunate side effect, but not one that would cause too much of a problem in a normal situation.

Pictures taken and gel metabolised we then began the climb down, taking a longer alternate route over the top of the ridge for the bonus views.  This resulted in even damper shoes and a careful and considered decent on the now drying ground.

On the ferry back to the camp area we shared another protein bar - having totally earned it.  This one was more of a meal-in-a-bar kind and again was high in protein with only a hint of chocolate on the outside.  I don't remember much about this other than it was very, very welcome (as was taking off the saturated, boggy shoes...).


Here is the Wikipedia page for the Preikestolen itself, if you want to see what it looks like with no clouds! I don't think we did too badly, it would have been tough going in hot sun and the rain was certainly cooling.  I do intend in getting a storm proof coat though!


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