Waiting at Søvollen

Author: Fredrik Ljone Holst (transl. Femke van Gastel)     Photo: Fredrik Ljone Holst     Publish date: 02.02.13 08:49

While the clock is approaching 9 on this Saturday morning, there is at the moment nothing else to do at Søvollen but waiting. The first mushers are probably still a few hours away.

Snow and silence at the entrance to Søvollen checkpoint.

The first musher out from Drevsjø was Robert Sørlie, and he did not leave before 5.48 in the morning. Sigrid Ekran and Ralph Johannessen left so short after him that their leaddogs practically run on the skidmarks from Robert. Less than one minute seperated these three on their way out of the second checkpoint of the F600.

None of them have taken their first mandatory rest and time alignment, while Arnt Ola Skjerve, that drove offensively and passed right through Tufsingdal, looks like to have settled in for his eight hours at Drevsjø. Just over seven and a half hours after he came in, his time measurement chip at least has not moved a bit.

In addition to a relatively late start from Drevsjø -  and we cannot forget that the first stage is 15 kilometer longer this year, because of the way up til Storvartz - there is something in the air that indicates that it will take some time before the mushers will arrive; it snows in Søvollen. It changes between big heavy flakes and a lite sprinkling, and if the conditions are the same on the mountain, this, in combination with some wind, can make it a hard trip over from Drevsjø. It looks like there is nothing else to do than fill the time with coffee, gossip, rumours and strong stories while we wait to see who is the first to show up between the spruces.