Lauvåshaugen, Flakkshøa, Hillingsberget
Friday, Apr 7 2017 – Lauvåshaugen (1018m)
Anne and I had booked a cabin on Lågåsen – Kvamsfjellet for the first half of the Easter holidays. Kvamsfjellet is located in the outskirts of the Rondane region – one of 3 mountain regions in Norway with peaks > 2000m.
After a long drive from Sunnmøre, we arrived at the cabin at 7pm on Friday evening. The cabin standard was good and the view was pretty good too. According to the guy who rented this cabin out, we could see all the of the 10 Rondane tops > 2000m. We believed him, but would have to wait to the next day to see for ourselves.
After hauling our bags from the car and into the cabin, the skis came on. I don’t care how long you have to go and what it takes – a new top is a new top, and Lauvåshaugen happened to be less than 0,3km and less than 40 vertical meters away from the cabin. At 8:09pm, my new top #18 for 2017 was “in the bag”. I could NOT think of a better way to start the Easter vacation…
Pictures from the Lauvåshaugen trip:
Saturday, April 8 2017 – Flakkshøa (1088m)
I did not sleep well, and it was NOT because I was thinking about all the new tops in this area. I am a computer programmer, and this night, I was trying to solve a problem. The problem got solved around 3am (in some kind of sleep ) and I got up at 6am to … implement the solution to the problem.
A few hours later, Anne got up and we discussed which mountain top we should go for. We decided to start off a bit easy and chose Flakkshøa as the destination.
We drove to the parking area just below Hotel Rondablikk. From here, we could follow a prepared track all the way to the summit. But after less than 1km, we took the wrong turn and had an off-trail trip the remaining 5km to the summit…
There were surprisingly a lot of FLAT terrain in this area – surrounded by high mountains. We “skated” 3,5km before we reached the first slight uphill. The snow was bordering to icy, and the skis didn’t glide well.
We reached the top of Flakkshøa after 1h:20m, and we had already got a good overview of the region. The view from the summit filled in the gaps.
We could now see where the prepared track came up, and quickly agreed to follow it back to the parking.
The 200 vertical meters of descent from Flakkshøa was gorgeous! The sun had melted a thin layer of the icy snow and the descent felt way more than just 200 vertical meters. Anne had light equipment (normal skiing boots and narrow mountain skis – almost cross country – or a mix), while I had mountain skis without steel edges (no more dog accidents…) and Scarpa T4 (plastic boots). With these stiff boots, I didn’t have to control the speed down the mountain.
Back on the flat terrain, the snow that made the descent so nice made the transport leg back to the parking equally more strenuous. The skis didn’t glide the same way as earlier in the day. And “ski skating” with plastic boots is a huge challenge with this kind of snow…
We returned to the car 2h:20m after leaving it. We drove back to the cabin and enjoyed the view towards Rondane – and yes – we could probably see all of the 10 peaks > 2000m…
Pictures from the Flakkshøa trip:
Saturday, April 8 2017 – Hillingsberget (1030m)
Back at the cabin, I had lunch and prepared for my second trip for the day – Hillingsberget. By the looks of it, this trip would be just as long as the trip earlier in the day. The snow was melting in a rapid pace, so Karma could not join. She would just drown! Anne chose to stay at the cabin to glide her 5 pairs of skis – including 2 of mine that I wouldn’t be using for this trip.
Our cabin was (as already mentioned) almost on top of Lauvåshaugen, and I decided to follow the ridge down to Svarthaugbekken – the flats between Lauvåshaugen and Hillingsberget. The 200 vertical meters of descent were just terrible!
At last, I made it to Svarthaugbekken, where I ended up on a prepared track. Unfortunately, the track was not going in the direction of Hillingsberget, so I had continue off-trail.
The snow was so soft that it didn’t carry my weight. Every 5 seconds, I sunk into the butter-soft snow, and I was truly asking myself if I wanted a new top that bad! And every time I raised the question, the answer was YES! And after skiing for 2km, I still hadn’t seen Hillingsberget!
Then I reached the creek/river (all depending on the amount of water). Today, it was a “hybrid”, which meant I was able to ford it without getting wet – but only thanks to my plastic boots. And now, I could finally see Hillingsberget…
The ascent from the river and to the top of Hillingsberget was just as awful as the descent from Lauvåshaugen. Butter-soft snow and dense forest. But – I finally made it to the top – 1h:20m after heading out.
I had been looking forward to the descent. I don’t know why, because it was just as tormenting as the ascent. The snow that collapsed under my weight during the ascent, collapsed *more* during the descent.
I crossed the creek/river in the same place and continued up to the prepared track. From here, I had more than 200 meters of vertical ascent up to Lauvåshaugen, and with the current snow conditions, I didn’t want to do it. I had skied more than 20km this day, and I while I still had the energy, I did not have the motivation for such a strenuous ascent.
When I saw the signpost “Slåa“, I had no idea where it was. The GPS was on a low-battery warning, and rather than challenging the battery by looking at the map, I assumed that “Slåa” was close to civilization, and that was all that mattered. From civilization, I could call Anne and she would pick me up. Furthermore, the route to “Slåa” seemed to be downhill/flats. The decision was easy.
After 3km in the direction of “Slåa” (I still don’t know what it is), I got cellular coverage, called Anne and asked her to come and get me. I had reached Nordeng (730m) by the time she arrived. I’m SO glad I didn’t have to do the remaining 5km and 250 vertical meters back to Lågåsen on foot…
Pictures from the Hillingsberget trip: