Evening the score…
On Aug 4 2010, I hiked Kjerringa (1130m) from Romedalen – one of the many characteristic peaks on the mountain ridge between Langedalen and Romedalen. From Kjerringa, I descended into the basin below the peak and headed towards the neighbor peak Mannen. The name on the map is Høgehornet, but as there is another peak on the same ridge with the same name, I prefer to use Mannen to avoid any misunderstanding. And in case you are still in doubt – no this is not Mannen in Romsdalen.
I had read that a rope is needed to get to the top of Mannen. But I had also heard from friends that the scrambling wasn’t very hard. These mixed messages didn’t come as a surprise. Sunnmøre has many mountains where people can have very different experiences at the same places.
On July 10 2016, I returned with my friend Terje Øvrebø. Like I did in 2010, we started out from Årsetersætra in Romedalen and followed a vague forest path on the east side of the river Tveråna. At approx. 400m, we descended from the forest ridge, crossed the river and went off-trail when a visible path was not to be seen. As long as we stayed clear of the most intense bush, we were OK.
Up in the basin below Kjerringa, we turned north and headed for Mannen’s southeast ridge. We had to go over a hump before getting to the critical point, and my heart was once again skipping some beats when I saw the cliff where I had turned around 6 years ago. But this time, I had both gear (although a very limited selection, as I didn’t think we would need it) and a mate. And that makes the whole difference.
The cliff still made me uncomfortable, so I had to scramble up and down a little to get acclimatized. And a few minutes later, we could get going.
The rest of the route to the summit was easy and we reached the summit cairn at 1:36pm– 3 hours after leaving the car. Fumbling time included. The celebration was somber. We still had to descend this mountain and moreover, rain was moving in. It was just a matter of time before this would be a wet mountain.
We went back down to the top of the cliff and agreed that we should climb / scramble back down. But this time we climbed down to the ledge, and not the way we came up in the upper section. Terje belayed me and climbing was easy once I figured out the sequence of arm and leg movements.
As someone had left a nut with a carabiner where we climbed down, we chose to run the rope through it and I belayed Terje from below. We didn’t expect that Terje would slip and if he did, it would be an arrest (opposed to a fall) that we both felt the nut would handle. We were very comfortable doing it this way.
Back on the ridge, we were both VERY happy about the climb and now it was time to make up the status. Was the rope required? Or were we just chickens?
The rain finally reached us when we started to pack our gear. It was still a long and steep descent to the car, but that didn’t matter one bit. My list of “unfinished business” had just become a little shorter.