Grøtdalstinden, Aug 18 2016

Rising above the fog…

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Grøtdalstinden 1420m 170m Ørsta / Sykkylven GPX
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Grøtdalstinden (left), seen in 2008

Several things didn’t go my way today. I had planned this Thursday hike to Grøtdalstinden for some time, as the weather forecast was good. But the fog covering the entire Sunnmøre district wasn’t my idea of good weather.

Still, I decided to make the trip. I had a feeling that I *could* be above the fog at 1420m – the height of Grøtdalstinden. I drove from Gurskøy to Sæbø and waited for the ferry to Urke, where I had sufficient time to contemplate on if this was a really good or bad idea.

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Waiting for the ferry at Sæbø – not being very optimistic…

I looked at the GPS map and saw that I shouldn’t have any problems with route finding in the fog. It was just a matter of following the river in Grøtdalen and then the valley above. I had also been to the neighbor peak – Urkedalstinden – in 2008, and even if I didn’t remember much of the route from 10 years ago, I had a hope that I would remember it once I was there. If I had only read my own trip report from 2008, I would have saved myself from a lot of trouble.

Karma and I headed out from the trailhead in Urkedalen 4:57pm and followed the trail up the valley. At the Nordkopen – Grøtdalen junction, I went right. So far so good. But when I reached a small waterfall, I was just blank. Where to go from here?

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Hmm… left or right?

I chose to go up on the right (south) side of the waterfall. I was convinced that I recognized the terrain and kept on going upwards. According to my GPS map, it should be trivial to traverse this hillside into the upper part of Grøtdalen. The problem was that I had steep cliffs above me, and they were way too steep for a safe ascent. I could probably have reached less steeper terrain above the cliffs, but I didn’t want to lose my dog over a stupid hike in the fog. So I turned around, at peace with the idea that Grøtdalstinden would have to wait until some other time.

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Totally off course…

But when we got back to the bottom of the waterfall, I decided to try my luck on the other side. The time was now 6:06pm and I was at approx. 420m elevation. Only 1000 vertical meters to go, and what about daylight? When does it get dark, and when does it get dark in thick fog? I figured I could do 1000 vertical meters in 1,5 hours and be back at the trailhead by 9pm, provided I didn’t had to struggle with route finding.

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Trying my luck on the other side of the river

Within minutes, I understood that I was on the right track. I didn’t see anything above me, so I decided to stay close enough to the river so I heard it. Just in case my GPS broke down, or something. I do recall leaving my GPS on a rock high up on the mountain back in 2008, causing me to have to get back up the next day to search for it. And I did find it…

At approx. 1000m elevation, I was about to break through the fog. Oh, what a glorious moment! Any struggle so far was a minor detail compared to get above the fog. I had also kept a good pace, and seemed to be on track for a 7:30pm arrival on the summit.

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Magic about to happen…

Now that I could see Urkedalstinden up to my left, a whole lot of memories from the 2008 trip came upon me. This is just awesome terrain!

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Urkedalstinden – to the right

I arrived on Grøtdalstinden’s southwest ridge at 1240m and had an awesome view in the Sykkylven direction. Even the dog was impressed!

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Simply amazing…

Karma and I arrived on the summit 7:29pm – just according to plan! I was completely flabbergasted when I took a 360 degree scan from the summit. It just wouldn’t have been the same without the fog!

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Amazing view from the summit

We left the summit 4 minutes later. I still didn’t have a perception of when it was getting dark, although I assumed it would be around 10pm. As such, I was in good shape. But nevertheless…

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Looking back on Grøtdalstinden

We took the same route down and arrived at the trailhead 8:48pm. That was approx. 25 minutes before the plan. If the time had been 9:15pm, I would have driven to Lekneset and waited for the 10pm ferry. But now, I might just as well drive home. Which is what I ended up doing.

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Into the fog again

When I finally arrived at my house, I was exhausted from a long day at work and in the mountains. I fell sound asleep, happy about having been to yet another Ørsta top. I have a goal of visiting 10 Ørsta pf100 tops per year until they’re all “in the bag”. The next day, I noticed that the border line between Sykkylven and Ørsta went 100m south of the summit. While it runs across the top of all the other peaks nearby. Really? So this peak belong to Sykkylven? I might just have to make a few phone calls to the municipalities and the map authorities….

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My route to Grøtdalstinden (plus the detour)

Pictures from the trip: 

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