Stav, Apr 17 2016

On this nice peak – at last…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Stav 1458m 446m Leikanger GPX

Stav is a mighty twin-topped peak, bordering between Sognefjorden and Fjærlandsfjorden. You can see both fjords from the top, which is quite rear. We (Anne and I) didn’t actually plan to visit this top today. The goal was Hest (1360m) – 2,5km S/SW of Stav. As we skied Hest in Balestrand the day before, we figured we should do another horse (Hest = horse) today.

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Hest – the distinct rock feature to the left of the pass was the original goal for the day

We drove from Sogndal towards Hella and took the Eggum exit. We drove opp to the toll road into Grindsdalen valley and paid NOK 50,- in toll fee and were curious to see how far the road would be open. The road was open for 2,8km (at 300m elevation) and we reckoned we might as well start from here – opposed to driving to Engjasete and carry the skis for 200 vertical meters. After all, from here, we could ski directly from the car!

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Skiing up Grindsdalen

2,5km later, we arrived at Gildalsbrekka. Here, we turned west and followed a snowy road (?) into the Gildal valley.

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Into Gildal via Gildalsbrekka

Gildal was a beautiful valley. As mentioned, the plan was to ski all the way in and climb Hest from there. But as the weather stayed gorgeous (bad weather was forecasted for the afternoon) we decided to go for Stav instead. After all, Stav is the #1 top on this mountain massif. We decided to aim for Sauaholten and see where it would be natural to proceed from there.

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In Gildal, heading for Sauaholten (left of Anne). Hest in the middle.

On the way to Sauaholten, we realized we would get an epic ski-descent along this route. The snow was beyond wonderful!

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On the way to Sauaholten

From Sauaholten, we aimed for point 1456m – the lower of the twin-tops. During our ascent, fog moved in and it was getting cold. As we thought this was the bad weather coming in way too fast, we decided to head for the main summit and “get the hell out of there”. Along the way, we passed fresh powder snow and Karma immediately got problems with her paws. Fortunately, I had brought socks for her and after a short stop, she was all “on fire” again…

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Towards the 1456m top – before the fog came along. Karma has now socks on…

But when we reached the saddle between the two tops, the fog disappeared just as quickly as it came. I thought about going back up to the 1456m top, but dropped the idea. It wasn’t the main top up here and I didn’t -need- to be up there…

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On the way to to point 1458m – looking back on point 1456m

When we arrived on the high point, there was JOY! We had been thinking about this top for quite a number of years and now we finally were here! Our next thought was to have lunch somehwere else. It was quite cold up there. Our last thought was where should we descend? We didn’t fancy tracing our steps, which meant uphills – so we decided to ski directly from the high point and join our ascent route below Sauaholten.

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On top of Stav – 1458m

The descent from Stav was heavenly. Hopefully, the video clip below will convey the sensation…

The weather remained gorgeous until we returned to Sogndal, but after a couple of hours, the rain sat in. How fortunate we were to enjoy such a grand day which faded with rain…

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Our route from Grindsdalen

Trip statistics: 16km, 1230 vertical meters, 4h:40m

Pictures from the trip:

 

 

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