Reaching my annual goal of 100 new peaks
The purpose of the trip to Fræna this weekend was to reach my annual goal of 100 new peaks with a primary factor > 100m. I had 96 new peaks so far this year, and I really wanted to reach my goal before the snow comes down. The weather was gorgeous, so the plan was to leave home on Saturday morning, drive to Fræna, do 2-3 peaks on Saturday, spend the night in my car and “finish” off on Sunday morning before returning home to Gurskøy.
Although the weather was brilliant, the temperature was close to 0 deg. C. at night, and so I didn’t want to cross Ørskogfjellet too early in the day. I left home 9:30am on Saturday, passed a police control in Hareidsdalen with flying colors, took the 10am ferry to Sulesund and had to wait almost 45 minutes for the 12pm ferry from Vestnes.
JULSKARTINDEN (Oct 8)
I chose to start with Julskartinden (784m) – the highest of the peaks that I planned to visit. I drove to Gjerdet, as the map indicated a path could be found there. I was granted permission to park by a house, but the owner said virtually no one chose this route to get to the top. Soon, I understood why. There was no link between the trailhead and the tractor road I planned to get to, so the start of the hike got rather cumbersome.
Once on the tractor road, I was curious if I would find the path marked on the map. It’s quite amazing that I did, because this path didn’t seem to have been in use for many years. But, it was better than the off-trail alternative. And it didn’t take too long before we (Karma and I) rose above the forest could set a direct course to the top. The path took us to lake Nedre Klompvatnet, but from there on, we went off-trail in easy terrain.
We reached the top at 2:05pm– exactly one hour after leaving Gjerdet. As I hadn’t been to this area in years, it was really nice to be back. 1,7 km to the northeast is Urdfjellet (aka Kaldbaken), which I skied in December 2007.
I more or less knew every peak I could see from up here, in all directions. It was a good feeling. From time to time I allow myself to reflect on the fact that I’ve … been around.
We met other hikers near the top, coming from other directions. Karma and I took (more or less) the same route back down.
Pictures from the hike:
VALLTUA & STORFJELLET (Oct 8)
Back at Gjerdet, the time was close to 3pm, and I seemed to have enough time to do a round trip hike across Valltua and Storfjellet, while there still was daylight.
I drove to Hestad, where the map said I would find a path along the south side of the creek. I found a very, very vague path, which I was able to follow for only a few minutes. I decided to just head off-trail up the forest, instead of searching for the path.
Above the forest, we had to cross terrain with a lot of turfs until we could ascend the actual top on more solid ground. The time was 4:14pm when we reached the summit cairn.
I sat down and thought about a friend of mine who passed away the day before. He was younger than me and lost the fight against the cancer in his brain. He stood on this very summit on the Norwegian national day (17/5) in 2014. I had chosen Julskartinden, Valltua and Storfjellet as my goals for this trip to pay my respect, from one “peakbagger” to another. He had been to all of these tops. It just reminded me to live each day as it was the last. Who knows what tomorrow brings…
Then Karma and I went to Nonsfjellet – a “hump” between Valltua and Storfjellet. I thought the cairn marked the high point, but I later found that the cairn marks point 543m, and that there is a higher point (546m) 140m to the southeast. But on my way to Storfjellet, I was close enough to claim an ascent.
Way ahead of “schedule”, we reached the top of Storfjellet 4:50pm. I had now been to all of the pf100 peaks west of Årødalen-Malmedalen – in other words Molde’s “backyard”.
My plan for descent was to cross Sporsnakken (Nonsfjellet’s southwest ridge) and aim for Hestadsætra, where I expected to find the forest road that begins where I parked the car. When we finally got to Hestadsætra, no forest road was to be seen. When I checked the GPS, I realized I had misunderstood where the road went, so it was just a matter of finding the easiest route down. We returned to the car 5:46pm – 2h:20m after heading out.
Pictures from the hike:
SKARET (Oct 8)
The plan was now to drive to Skaret and sleep in the car, as my plans for Sunday was to visit Lønsetfjellet and Brekkelihaugen – from Skaret. The road up to Skaret had probably received any sunshine at all, and appeared to be icy. I wasn’t too happy about driving with summer tires here, but as the road more or less went straight ahead, it was OK. I wasn’t too happy about spending the night in the car either. It would get COLD and I would have to spend at least 14 hours in it.
At Skaret, I looked for a place to park the car, but then I noticed a Camping signpost. I went into the cafeteria and asked if they had a cabin for rent. They had one free cabin. At first glance, it looked smaller than the car, but when the guy said it was warm, I took it. NOK 850,- for one night was quite OK, compared to the alternative…
And so the evening got really cosy. I didn’t have any dinner and the cafeteria had closed, but bread w/cheese and a six-pack of beer did the job. Driving all the way to Molde or Elnesvågen to buy dinner wasn’t an option. Karma was installed in the corner on a mattress, but seemed restless until she got a pig ear to chew on.
LØNSETFJELLET (Oct 9)
When I woke up Sunday morning, it was -2 deg. C. outside. All windows on my car had ice on them. I didn’t have an ice scraper, so I had to use a credit card. I let the car warm up while having some breakfast and check out of the cabin.
I drove 1km southwest to the skiing center, where I parked the car. Then we followed the Kordalsvegen road to the end (we went left in the last fork). The path begins by a cabin next to a bridge across the creek. With frozen ground, the path up Kordalsbotnen was less wet and boggy than it would be later in the day. I really looked forward to get out of the shade and into the sunshine.
Finally, we stepped into the sunshine and the day was just beautiful. Autumn just doesn’t get any better than this.
We reached the top 09:41am, 1h:07m after heading out. Hundreds and hundreds of peaks, as far as they eye could see. I really should just have laid down and closed my eyes, but I’m just not cut out for standing still, so it was time to move on to the next top.
On the way down, I actually lost count of the number of people on their way up. I had a nice conversation with 3 hikers from the Molde area. That covered the “social part” this weekend.
I had now reached my goal of 100 NEW pf100 tops in 2016. It may not sound like a high number, but it’s two peaks per week in average, and I have to travel a long way to find a top that I haven’t been to. I still have tops to do in the Sunnmørsalpane moutain range, but they are all somewhat “serious” and require solid snow or no snow at all.
Pictures from the hike:
BREKKELIHAUGEN (Oct 9)
It was noon when we returned to the trailhead. I drove 0,6km in the direction of Skaret, then parked alongside the road – close to the Skarabakken signpost. According to the map, I should follow the adjacent gravel road for 0,2km and find a path. But, I didn’t find any path and went up to the ski-jumping arena and headed off-trail upwards, next to the ski jumping hill.
Then we followed a very vague path along the ridge until we reached the top of Brekkelihaugen. It was quite an uneventful – and somewhat boring – hike to the top.
I didn’t want to descend the same way, so we took a short-cut through the forest. A much nicer route – even if there wasn’t a path.
We were back at the car 1pm – less than one hour after leaving it. There was still time to do more peaks in this region, but I wanted to get across Ørskogfjellet before the road turned icy. I had to wait 45 minutes for the ferry from Molde.
The rest of the drive back home went quite well. The road wasn’t very icy, and I decided that I would run up Melshornet on Hareidlandet when I got back home.
Pictures from the hike: