Late summer in the mountains

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PICTURE SERIES: Neither rain, nor sleet, nor dark of day will keep eager hikers indoors. This group kept trudging towards the peak called “Høgevarde” atop Norefjell in the middle of a downpour on Sunday, complete with hail, making the most of a late summer weekend.

  1. On the way to Høgevarde, atop the popular mountain called Norefjell in southern Buskerud County.
  2. A rather daring biker also made his way down the trail. The day before, many more had competed in a tough bike race both up and down Norefjell.
  3. The peak at Høgevarde is only 1,450 meters (4,700 feet) above sea level, but that's way above timberline in Norway. Here, looking west towards the cabin that takes in weary wanderers.
  4. The original stone portion of the cabin at Høgevarde dates from 1893. There's no electricity or running water, but plenty of bed space and two kitchens, open for members of the trekking association DNT.
  5. Autumn colours are already emerging in the mountains, but some green could still be seen on nearby ridges.
  6. A mix of green and gold, seen from a bit closer.
  7. Hikers encounter "varder" (cairns) all along the trails, and often contribute to them.
  8. The view west towards Eggedal.
  9. The stakes denote where ski trails run in the winter.
  10. Hiking trails are liberally dotted with the red "Ts" of trekking association DNT.
  11. Mist after sudden rain and hail, followed by sunlight.
  12. Weatherbeaten signs on high, open plateau of Norefjell, on the way between Høgevarde and a local hotel.
  13. Contrasting colors in the view towards endless mountain ridges.
  14. More trail-marking atop Norefjell, the lower slopes of which are a popular skiing resort in the winter.
  15. "Ut på tur, aldri sur" - "Out on a tour, never sour" (It rhymes in Norwegian...)
  16. The view down to the nearby Lake Krøderen.

As summer eases into autumn in Norway, the mountains continue to beckon thousands of outdoors enthusiasts. The national trekking association DNT has reported a record number of visitors to its rustic cabins around the country. It was quiet over the vast mountain plateau of Norefjell this past weekend, though, with the sounds of silence filling crisp mountain air. Hover your mouse over the photos for caption information.

ALL PHOTOS: Morten Møst