Yet another magic day in the Sunnmøre alps…
Today, I had the pleasure of taking my German colleague Matthias up to the highest peak in Volda municipality – Eidskyrkja (Kyrkjefjellet). Matthias had never skied down from a steep mountain top before, and we were both curious as to how this would go. The short story is that it went quite well. True, it was hard work for Matthias, but he could stand tall afterwards. Summarized in a video clip, this was our trip:
I picked up Matthias at his hotel in Ulsteinvik around 10am. We then drove to Skinnviksætra (approx. 400m) – where we were defintitely not the first ones out. The parking place was almost full- only one spot left. From the car, we could conclude that we wouldn’t have to walk far before we could put the skis on…
Matthias borrowed my old Telemark skis (his first time on Telemark skis) and boots from a fellow colleague. Not accustomed to Norwegian weather, I checked his gear and gave him a wollen sweater and a Gore-tex jacket. As the weather could change quickly up here, I also put Karma’s superwoman suit on her.
The initial ascent was a bit strenuous. The skins got wet already at the get go and when we reached dry snow, the snow piled up under our skis. We took a 10-minute break while the skins were drying up in the sunshine and after that, things got a whole lot easier.
When we arrived at the glacier, the wind picked up and we had to put more clothes on and “seal all openings”. Skiers coming down the mountain reported that there was no wind on the summit. Something to look forward to!
Being in good shape, Matthias was able to let the views sink in – opposed to being really tired and just stare down into the snow. I don’t know how many times he said “unbelieveable”, but I got the point…
We arrived on the summit 1:57pm, after 2h:35m, 4,6km and 1080m vertical meters. A half a dozen skiers were on the summit already – most of them leaving shortly after we arrived. A woman had forgotten to bring gloves and had really cold fingers. I was happy to lend her one of my extra wollen gloves and I found them on the car windshield later on.
Then it was time for the descent. Matthias seem to do just fine on the way down to the glacier, and I didn’t have any particular advice for him. But as the hill got considerably steeper on the glacier, I could see that I was far outside of his comfort zone. I showed him a couple of techniques that he could apply, and the descent got easier for him after that.
Me, I had an awesome day in the mountains. The snow was much better than I had thought it would be, given the strong wind. So much joy, followed by this sudden sadness once you realize that it’s over. Those mixed emotions are really weird!
I have to say that Matthias did much better than I had expected. I’ve seen people really struggle on their first ski-trip. And it was not as if Matthias got a gradual introduction to skiing. I took him to the highest peaks in the Sunnmøre alps! I think he will remember this trip for a long, long time!
Trip statistics: 3h:50m, 10,1km, 1080 vertical meters.
Pictures from the trip: