In search for Muskoxen
|Camera:||Canon EOS 40D|
Last autumn I was thinking about plans for the winter. A long time plan of me is to go to Scandinavia in winter and take pictures. With a Swedish friend of mine, Ingvar, I discussed different options: Wolf, Bear, Wolverine… All really nice mammals, but also really hard to find. So we thought of an animal a little easier to find: the Muskox. I had seen them in east Greenland in summer, but never under the harsh conditions of the polar winter in the mountains. The nicest place would be to go back to Greenland, but that would be too expensive for only one week, so we decided for Dovrefjell, Norway. They have re-introduced Muskoxen there and the population numbers into the 300 animals.
After some months of preparations we set of in the last week of February 2010. After a long ride by car from Falun, Sweden, we reached Dovrefjell in the afternoon. So we still had time to do a little before it would get dark. We decided to follow a summer trail. A bad idea as it turned out. The snow was really heavy to ski through, both for the inexperienced me as for the experienced skier Ingvar, pulling the sled. That night we set up our tent, discussing what to do next. Continuing this way didn’t look like the best idea. But giving up before we even saw a Muskox didn’t look too appealing. That night also turned out to be the coldest of the trip, with -30°C outside the tent.
The next morning we were about to start discussing what to do next when Ingvar found 3 Muskoxen on a mountain four kilometers from our camp. This made it clear what we had to do. We went back to the car, parked a few kilometers down the road and took a steep winter track into the area.