Sætreskarsfjellet, May 7 2016

Skiing from the car…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Sætreskarsfjellet 1606m 116m Stryn GPX

The day after Anne and I climbed the Via Ferrata in Loen together with Cathrine and Lars, we drove from Oldedalen to Strynefjellet to ski Sætreskarsfjellet. As expected, we could ski from the car, and also as expected – the snow was soaking wet. This would mean that the descent would NOT be epic. None of us, except for Anne, had glided our skis. The following video clip sums up the trip:

Trip report

At our rented cabin, and for the second day in a row, Cathrine and Lars had to get out of bed FAR earlier than they appreciated. But when the mountains are calling, they’re … well … calling. First, we had to have breakfast and then we would have 1,5 hours of driving ahead of us.

On our way to Strynefjellet, we saw that there wasn’t many options to ski from the car, so Grasdalen seemed like the best place – if we wanted a mountain that could offer options for telemark and randonee skiing. When we arrived at Grasdalen, we could see a number of cars parked in front of the tunnel.

At Grasdalen

I had hoped that we could ski both Sætreskarsfjellet and Skjerdingdalsbreen, but I quickly realized that only Sætreskarsfjellet would be “in scope” for the day. The previous evening was very enjoyable and it got -late- before we went to bed. Not all of us were overwhelmed about the idea of two mountain tops…

“OK, Lars. One mountain top will do..”

The upside was that we got sunshine! It was raining when we left Oldedalen and it was kind of difficult to think that the sun would come out, although the weather forecast suggested so.


We took a break for lunch just before we reached the ridge between the two mountain tops. I dug a pit into the snowpack to see how the snow looked. There was a general high avalanche danger in western Norway, but with the last day of high temperatures it seemed that the weak layer and the recent snow had merged. I couldn’t find any weak layers in the profile, which made me relax a bit. Our ascent route was safe enough, but it wasn’t obvious where we would descend.

Lunch – just before the ridge

After lunch, we skied the 1,5km to the summit point and enjoyed the great views in all directions. My gift for Lars’ 50th birthday was a weekend stay in a rented cabin, a climb up the Via Ferrata in Loen and a ski-trip. Now we were just a descent away from having “delivered the present”. I was very happy that everything had turned out so fine. Shitty weather alone would have been a real downside…

On top of Sætreskarsfjellet

Then it was time for the descent. We decided to ski down a valley where others had skied before us. There were a couple of steep sections, but I felt at ease, having dug a profile. I took the first run, just in case. When I stopped, the others told me that they had passed a couple of crevasses. Cathrine said whe was a bit shook up about this, but I assured her that we were not in any real danger. On the map, permanent snow and glaciers have the same contour color, but when it’s an area as small as this, it’s not a glacier. That aside, there was no way these crevasses would fit a person…

As expected, our skis didn’t perform great. Anne had glided her skis, so she was OK. The rest of us suffered. However, the slope was steep enough to offer some sort of fun, and no one was complaining afterwards…

Lars – in telemark style down Sætreskarsfjellet

After the trip, we drove to Hjelle Hotel for coffee and cheese cake. Yum! It was so nice to be in front of the tourist season, giving us a chance to have a nice chat with the hotel owner and some of the staff.

The good life at Hjelle Hotel

Then it was time to head back to Oldedalen and prepare for our last evening together. Again, it got late …

Trip statistics: 7,8km, 730 vertical meters, 3h:25m

Pictures from the trip:

Leave a Reply