But just halfway across to Melsnipa…
|Harevollnipa||1406m||196m||Balestrand / Sogndal||GPX|
On this Sunday, Sogndal Turlag arranged a planned trip across Meneseggi – from Menes, across Harevollnipa, Saueggi and Melsnipa, with descent via Grøndalen – an 11 hours, 21km hike with a vertical gain of approx. 2300m. In other words, a HARD hike. The weather forecast was good, and I looked forward to a summer version of the Meneseggi route. I did a much longer route back in 2004, together with Bergen Turlag. But back then, we didn’t ski the ridge between Harevollnipa and Saueggi.
22 people (and 2 dogs) from Sogndal, Leikanger, Vik, Balestrand, Jølster, Sunnmøre (me), Slovakia and the Czech Republic med at Menes for a planned departure at 8am. The trip leaders were Arnstein Menes, Svein Årdalsbakke and my girlfriend Anne Rudsengen. Unfortunately, the weather was nowhere near the forecast and we started out in fog and after a little while – light rain.
From Menes, it’s a steep forest ascent up to Menesstølen at approx. 740m. I’m normally very hesitant about joining organized trips as there’s always – at least – one person who isn’t able to keep up with the rest. But not today. The group kept a steady pace up the forest, with only small breaks to keep the group united. It wasn’t really such a big surprise, as this was no ordinary up-and-down trip.
We had a good break at Menesstølen, where one (local) person turned around. He had probably been up here more times than he could possibly remember. By now it was clear that the planned trip would be reduced to a hike up to Harevollnipa if the weather didn’t improve. Possibly, a few people would break out of the group and follow the original plan. I wasn’t sure whether I would be part of this group. I didn’t lack the motivation, but it would all come down to logistics, i.e. would I get a ride back to Sogndal?
After a while, we arrived on the ridge proper and we were now on the real Meneseggi – the ridge between Menes and Harevollnipa. It was a nice hike up the ridge, but the fog just wouldn’t let go.
At approx. 1130m, we stopped for lunch by a small lake. It was raining and I had to put on extra clothes to avoid getting too cold. 3 people decided to turn around here. I wasn’t too optimistic about going all the way to Melsnipa. The 8km and almost 1400 vertical meter hike was of course tough, and then we were to go across 5 more tops in rain, fog and across very slippery rock?
My personal goal for this trip was to reach point 1372m – a 100pf top that we didn’t visit on our 2004 trip. But it wasn’t a big deal, as I could always reach this peak from Jordal on some later occasion.
Finally, we had Harevollnipa ahead of us. I recognized the point where we dug through a cornice in 2004 in order to get into Instedalen (east) to bypass the sharp ridge between Harevollnipa and Saueggi. But if we were to make it past Harevollnipa today, the route would be to pass around the steep north ridge on the west side.
We reached the top of Harevollnipa 12:36pm – 4,5 hours after heading out from Menes. It was evident that we would not have a sunny hike ahead of us, and it was a united decision to turn around. We were just happy about having reached a nice peak!
After a good stay on top, we headed back down. I got to know several in the group a little bit better, and enjoyed particularly talking to Arnstein Menes, Svein and Stian Årdalsbakke. Svein is a very seasoned climber with impressive national and international ascents (Aconcagua, Elbrus, Island Peak, Kilimanjaro, Matterhorn and Mt. Blanc were just some of the tops mentioned), and Stian is comfortable in the sharp end of the rope, too.
Karma had good company in the Beagle Kaisa/Kajsa (?), and they got on well from the get-go.
We were back at Menes 4:25pm – close to 8,5 hours after heading out. The total vertical gain was approx. 1500m and the total distance was 16km. I wasn’t really tired, but I could easily imagine that would have been if we had stuck to the original plan. It was a good trip, and I wouldn’t mind going on another trip with this group again!
Pictures from the trip: