My first trip up the south ridge
The day after the hilariously nice ski-trip to Sunndalsnipa, I was back again at the Grøndalen trailhead. On this afternoon, I was the ONLY ONE skiing from Grøndalen. It was very “odd” to have the mountain all to myself. I came for the ski-descent, summarized in this video clip:
The weather was OK. Not as stunning as the day before, but OK. I feared that the snow would be too soft in the afternoon, so I didn’t bring Karma. Lena and Terje looked after her and took her to Skolma.
But the snow was fine and would have carried Karma’s weight. I made a mistake and put on the skins at the trailhead and the 1,6km trip to Grøndalsstølen would have been far better without them.
After passing the Grøndalsstølen cabins, I headed into the valley leading up to the Bygdaskaret pass. I went up this way in June 2009, when I hiked Sunndalsnipa for the first time. The valley was different (steeper) than I remembered it to be
Approaching Bygdaskaret, I had the 400 vertical meter hillside leading up to the Eidskyrkja plateau in plain view. The light was quite flat and it appeared steeper than it actually was. There was only one problem; the snow was very hard and there were tracks everywhere. I imagined that it would be a strenuous descent. I’m not a very tough skier and try to avoid situations where I could end up with an injured leg or knee.
On top of this hill, the terrain leading up to the summit was quite flat. The snow was a mix of powder- and frozen snow dependant on if there were tracks or not.
It took me approx 1h:45m to reach the top – after 1060 vertical meters and 6,3km of skiing. I hadn’t brought anything to drink or eat, and there were a couple of times during the ascent I could have needed some energy.
But when I reached the top, I was totally “refueled”. Contributing factors were of course the amazing views and the fact that I was UP!
The descent went far better than I had feared. When I reached the steep hillside with the frozen tracks, I fumbled at first – trying to maintain a safe speed. But then I discovered that it was far easier to ski by increasing the speed. Without a helmet, I was a little edgy about this, but I did feel that I had adequate control.
When I got to Bygdaskaret, the sun broke through and the journey down the forest was as good as it can possibly get. I will look back on these two days in Grøndalen with a smile on my face for a very, very long time…
Trip statistics: 12,8km, 1060 vertical meters, 2h:35m
Pictures from the trip: