Bukkedalstinden, Sep 15 2016

A beautiful peak and fun scrambling

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Bukkedalstinden 1000m 90m Ørsta GPX
Høghornet 945m 35m Ørsta
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Bukkedalstinden seen from Høghornet

I moved from Bergen to Ålesund in 2006, and it didn’t take long before I noticed Bukkedalstinden on the map and on pictures. The peak looked steep and unfriendly from all angles, and … it frightened me. I thought we were talking real climbing here.

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Bukkedalstinden to the left, seen from Saudehornet

In short, years passed and Bukkedalstinden was now far back in my mind. Right until I saw again it on a hike between Saudehornet and the west top. As I scrambled my way to the west top, I promised to get closer acquainted with Bukkedalstinden soon. A research mission. To find out what I’m up against.

I stayed true to my promise 3 days later. I drove up Årsetdalen and parked at the Skorgedalen valley entrance. The time was 4:52pm and I reckoned I had plenty of time before sunset. I followed the trail 0,7km to Øyesætra and wondered what to do next. I didn’t really know this area. I saw Bukkedalstinden up to my left and wondered if a direct approach towards the west ridge would be a better choice than walking all the way into the valley and head up the west or north ridge. I ended up with the direct approach.

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Bukkedalstinden (left) seen from Øyesætra

But first, I had to cross the river. I walked along the river for 100 meters until I found a place to cross. The river was calm and I assumed that this would be a harder task after days of rain.

The ascent up the hillside was strenuous. Boulder terrain with grass on top. You don’t know what you step on until you step on it. As I got closer towards the west ridge, I got an unpleasant surprise.

There was no easy access to the west ridge. To get there, I had to ascend on steep and slippery grass almost all the way up to the north ridge before I could head for the west ridge. Later, I learned that the normal route to the west ridge is to continue further into the valley before starting the ascent. The north ridge seemed impossible without moving into climbing terrain. I chose not to investigate the north ridge any further.

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Slabs, preventing direct access to the west ridge (right)

Going up on steep and slippery grass isn’t too bad. But going down is a whole different matter. Fortunately, I had brought my ice axe and I used it for all that it’s worth.

It was unproblematic to walk below the foot of the west ridge and ascend a bit further down. Once on the west ridge, I felt the adrenaline rush. The west ridge was not easy to read. The first part looked easy, then there was something that I couldn’t figure out from a distance, and towards the top – pure chaos. Intriguing!

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On the west ridge

The “couldn’t figure out” part turned out to be a small, but exposed cliff that could easily be scrambled. This cliff could also be bypassed on the right-hand side, but I didn’t like that option and ended up with taking on the cliff.

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The crux. I scrambled the rock, but it’s possible to bypass to the right (airy!)

Once above the cliff, I *knew* that Bukkedalstinden was “in the bag“. The only question was which route I should follow now. I tried the left-hand side of the ridge first. It wasn’t exactly a dead-end, but I didn’t like the terrain, so I chose to try my luck on the right-hand side of the ridge. Just below the summit, I faced some climbing terrain that I didn’t like, but found an easy way around much further to the right – where the west ridge meets the south ridge.

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The final part. Stay right.

6:23pm – I could finally touch the summit cairn. I was just … happy! Finally! That feeling is impossible to describe, but those who do this know what I mean…

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FINALLY – on top of Bukkedalstinden

I scrambled a bit down along the north ridge, but didn’t quite see the point and returned to the top.

Then I scrambled along the south ridge, just to get a feeling on the difficulty, and concluded that the south ridge had its small challenges – at least while going down – but was indeed doable for those comfortable with scrambling. But I wasn’t planning on descending via the south ridge and headed back up to the top.

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My ascent route to the west ridge

In addition to the joy of making it to the top, I also had some wonderful views to enjoy…

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Summit view from Bukkedalstinden; Vassdalstinden and Saudehornet

I descended along my ascent route, and recorded a short video clip while climbing down the cliff:

Once off the west ridge, I headed back up to the saddle between Bukkedalstinden and Høghornet – and scrambled up the ridge to Høghornet.

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On the ridge to Høghornet

From Høghornet, I descended the hillside and joined my ascent route at 530m. I was back at the car at 7:49pm – close to 3 hours after heading out. I felt soooo good while driving back to Gurskøya. It got dark when I parked the car outside my house.

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My route

Pictures from the hike: 

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