Heimstagretta, Sep 18 2016

A rough hike to a fine peak

Peaks visited:

Peak Height PF Municipality Location
Heimstagretta 1494m 244m Sogndal GPX
Below Heimstagretta

I really should have rested the day after the “Balestrand Opp”event, but as the weather was great, I couldn’t afford not to take advantage of it. So I brought Karma with me and drove from Sogndal to Mundal in Fjærland, where I aimed to hike Heimstagretta (1494m).

But I didn’t get very far, as I hit a kerb at the local gas station and ended up with a flat tire. The time was now 10am, and I had a feeling that there would be no hike today. But I called my car rescue company and 10 minutes later, a local guy rang me up and said he was on his way. He arrived 20 minutes later, and said that he would take care of this during the day.

Bad start of the day

So I walked back up to Anne’s house and borrowed her car. Approx. 11am, Karma and I were on our way to Mundal.

Arriving at Mundal, I had the option to drive 2,4km on a forest road to the trailhead or park at the end of the asphalt road. Having panic for another flat tire, I chose the extra 2,4km walk (one way). It’s just about the mindset. I pretended this was the end of the road and came quickly to terms with my choice.

Heimstagretta (center) seen from Mundal

Shortly after passing Heimastølen, I found the forest path, marked by the “Holten” signpost. First, we crossed the river on a bridge and then the path went *steep* up the mountainside. Although vague, I didn’t have any problems in following the path. It was also partly marked.

On our way to Holten

After 65 minutes, we arrived at Holten – which was just a ruin of an old shepard’s hut.

At Holten

From Holten, I didn’t see any good route up to the east ridge that continues all the way to the summit, so I chose to head for Holtafossen instead. I had to cross the river below the waterfall, but the crossing was easy.

Heading for Holtafossen

Once above the waterfall, I had a good view of the ridge leading up to the summit. There was only one place I could get on it, so that’s the point I aimed for.

Aiming for a “friendly spot” on the east ridge

Getting up to the ridge wasn’t quite straightforward, but after searching around for a little while, I found a good route up for Karma and myself.

Heading up the east ridge, I had to choose if  I should follow it all the way to the top, or ascend via the south ridge. The east ridge looked a bit steep below the summit, so I chose to go for the south ridge.

The east ridge. I decided to go for a less steeper route to the top

There was a lot of snow ahead of me, and the slope up to the south ridge was just steep enough to perhaps justify the use of crampons. I tried to avoid that (laziness) and went further to the south (towards Holefjell) but ran into a glacier (top picture). So I put the crampons on and headed up to the south ridge.

To the south ridge

To get onto the south ridge, I had to cross a short slab section. I slipped, and lost my lens cover. I could see it slide down under the snow. I was determined to retrieve it once I returned for my descent.

We reached the summit 2:46pm – approx. 3 hours after leaving the car. It was good to be up here. This peak has been on my to-do list for a long time. Just as we reached the summit cairn, a falcon or hawk flew up from a crack between the rocks. I certainly didn’t expect that, and neither did Karma. She just stared up in the air, as the bird flew away.

Summit view from Heimstagretta

If I hadn’t left the crampons down by the south ridge, I would have descended the east ridge. It didn’t look so steep from up here.

Besides, I had my lens cover to retrieve. And once back there, I forgot where it went. I spent a good 10 minutes looking into the crack between the snow and the rock before I saw it. And now my camera and the lens cover are happily reunited.

We followed the same route back down. I was tempted to follow the east ridge all the way down, but wasn’t in a mood for any “dead alleys”. The hike had been exhausting enough already.

Mundal seen from the summit

We returned to the car 5:02pm – 5h:22m after leaving it. It was a good hike!

I checked my cell phone and found a text message from the guy at the local car garage. He had fixed my car, so I could pick it up once back in Sogndal. Excellent service!

Pictures from the hike: 


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