The weather situation was unchanged but I knew the time to start the real thing was now: the first glacier crossing. I felt good.
Almost 1 hour 45 minutes later I reached the glacier mouth. For the first time in my life, I put crampons on and made my first steps on the glacier ice. Walking with crampons turned out to be easy. Grip was excellent. Everything was good and I gained altitude fast. Even the weather turned into friendly mode.
Gaining altitude navigation became somewhat tricky. I had to make some turns. My GPS tracker was of real help in this situation characterized by bad weather, poor visibility, and exceptionally lousy maps. It helped me to move forward into the right direction, navigate through the mountain peaks, and find the descent into the right valley.
Moving forward I was puzzled about the height readings of my GPS tracker which indicated that the glacier was about 200 meters higher (!) than what the map indicated. Eventually, I was at about 1400m (instead of 1200m what I expected according to the map).
As I got higher the temperatures got lower and were already below freezing level. Occasionally, the glacier ice was covered by old snow. I felt things get tricky if not dangerous now. I tried to avoid places of old snow, I tried to pass by where possible. However, sometimes there was no way around them (or I had the feeling it is not worth the detour) and I decide to cross those snow fields using my walking stick to make sure that no hidden cracks will get me.
And again, I had to learn another lesson. Having solid ground in sight and just a few meters away I got careless and was crossing a last patch of old snow without testing it with the walking stick. Then it happened. I was virtually stepping into nothing but I was lucky that crack I was stepping into was too narrow just broad enough for one leg! I got out but I learnt another lesson: You have not reached the goal until you have reached it.
It seems that I have reached the top of the first, the coastal, mountain range, and that I have left the glacier successfully behind me. It was already quite late, but since the sun does not dip around this time of year, it was still light but the cloud cover was dense and low. Otherwise, weather was now ok. It was not raining anymore, temperatures were around freezing but without wind everything was fine to continue the hike.
The terrain was changing between gravel and boulder fields mostly quite level. I have put off my crampons and again progress was good. After some time I reached a huge cairn that must been erected a long time ago. I did not find any remainders (e.g. waste or similar) or proof of recent human activity close to the cairn (and anywhere else either).
The cairn seemed to mark the highest point as my route now slowly started to turn downhill. When going down (I was still on the route marked as sledge-route on the Saga maps) I wondered if a route a little bit further south would not have been easier as my hike downwards was interrupted several times by really steep parts resembling steps of a huge stairway of some 20-50 meters that were somewhat difficult partly dangerous to pass/to go down.
Now, I got a first view to Rensdyrdalen and its extension towards south. I could very well see the different glacier tongues reaching downwards into the southern part of valley as well as those reaching down to the eastern part of the valley. Interesting to see were those two lakes in Rensdyrdalen that had very different water levels. Both were the results of glacier moraines that XXXX. At sunny conditions this would have been a very spectacular sight.
Having hiked most of my way down to the valley I looked out for some campsite satisfying the usual criteria of being level, close to water, soft ground suitable for the pegs of the tent, and preferably dry, soft and insulating. I soon found a campsite satisfying most of above criteria just missing out a soft and insulating ground. I set up my tent, prepared some warm drink and food. All in all being in good mood after passing the first big challenge I went to bed, i.e. into the sleeping bag.