Along the mountain race track and traverse to the west top
This afternoon, I drove to Ørsta to see how fast I could get up to Saudehornet (1303m) – along the route that the annual “Saudehornet Rett Opp” race follows. The route is 5,4km and 1300 vertical meters. From the city centre and straight up!
My goal was to make it to the top witin 1 hour and 10 minutes. That would be satisfactory. More than that would be disappointing. My preparations weren’t all that good. I had brand new shoes (purchased earlier in the day), came straight from work and didn’t bring anything to drink – or energy to fuel me up in my 2,5kg backpack. I also skipped the warming-up part. That is just SO boring!
The first 0,7km runs in the centre of Ørsta. Next, follows a 2,1km long killer hill, rising from 30m to 400m. The mountain path begins here. Then follows a 0,4km easy leg to the river. By this time, I had been jogging all the way and already developed a bad blister on my right heel. It was impossible to keep on jogging.
So from the river and up, it was just fast walking. From the river (430m) and up to the ridge (830m) the path can get quite muddy and it’s essential to stay on rocks – wherever they can be found. To me, this leg was the hardest part.
From the ridge (830m) and up to the top (1303m), the path runs mostly on rock and I was able to keep a good pace and ignore the blisters. And when I got to the finish line, I took out the stopwatch – with a strong curiousity…
That time would have put me in 22nd place (of 61 men – all classes) if I compare it with the results from the 2016 race in August. And – if it hadn’t been for the blisters, I -might- have beaten the best time in my class (Men 50-54) – 1h:06m:54s. But that’s theory. I will simply have to sign up for the race in 2017 to find out where I stand…
It was a cold, cold wind up here and I had to replace my shorts with trousers and put a jacket on. The plan now was to scramble the ridge over to the west top. And this time, I would scramble the sharp end of the ridge – even the knife-edge sections. On my 2-3 earlier scrambles, I’ve bypassed the most exposed parts.
Today’s challenge was the wind. Gale-force strength in the gusts! But I scrambled safely across and never put myself at any risk. I can understand that some could argue that statement!
Once on the west top, I headed down the rugged southwest ridge and then into the Vikeskåla basin. If it hadn’t been for the blisters, I would have hiked across Vardehornet and Nivane. Jogging down the mountain road was hard on my legs, but I preferred that over walking – which is just SO boring…
After stretching out down by the harbour, I returned to my car 2h:15m after heading out. The hike was 11,4km in total.
Pictures from the trip: