Litlebottsegga & Grønlifjellet
Longevasshytta, Apr 28
Anne, and a number of her colleagues in Statens naturoppsyn – a branch of the Norwegian Environmental Agency – were out looking for wolverine tracks this weekend. The snow and weather conditions were perfect. Anne was directed to the area around Longevasshytta – a self-served DNT (The Norwegian Trekking Association) cabin located close to the Gloppen/ Jølster / Naustdal border.
Her job wasn’t only to look for tracks in the valleys, but also in the mountains, I saw a golden opportunity to spend the weekend with her, and bag some new peaks while at it…
I drove from Sunnmøre after work on Friday afternoon. I was a bit disappointed when Anne rang me up and said that the road to Legestøylen was closed by lake Dalevatnet. That meant a 9,5km hike and ski-trip to get to the cabin. The distance itself wasn’t the worry. It was more the combination of the distance, a 20kg backpack and a hot, hot day. But love conquers all. And so does the prospect of some mighty fine new peaks…
I drove up to Dalevatnet and found Anne’s car. As I was about to park, a man on a tractor drove past me and moved the “Closed” sign 300 meters up the road. I followed after him. Any meter saved would be a good meter…
3:25pm, Karma and I headed up the road towards Legestøylen. The first part was done on foot, but then there was a leg that I chose to ski (randonee equipment) before the skis had to come off. I had a clear view towards the valley we would head up in order to get to Stigsvatnet, and subsequently Longevasshytta. Stunning nature all around!
Shortly after passing Legestøylen, I could put the skis back on. I was worried that the snow would be too soft to carry Karma’s weight. And while the snow was rotten at first, conditions improved the higher up we got. Old tracks (in addition to Anne’s) also helped.
Precisely one hour after leaving the car, we reached lake Stigsvatnet. At first, I thought half the lake had open water, but then realized that the shadows from the mountain played a trick with me.
1,2km crossing across the lake. It was easy to see that Karma was bored. Nothing to smell. And it didn’t seem that she had picked up Anne’s scent. Perhaps nothing left of it, as Anne had skied in early in the day.
At the north end of the lake, the direction turned gradually to the west and a bit later, I could see the top of Longevasshytta. But first, we had to cross lake Vassendevatnet.
I was in great pain by now. Not from the backpack, but my feet were aching like crazy. They never became really friendly with the new plastic boots. But the cabin was getting closer all the time and it was just a matter of biting the tongue and keep going. Then I saw Anne come in my direction. Karma saw her too, but didn’t understand who it was until I told her. THEN she ran…
Anne had roamed around in the nearby valleys all day long, but without seeing any tracks. The quest for spotting the ultra-shy predator would continue the next day.
It was SO GOOD to finally check in, and the cabin was quite cozy despite the fact that a new part of the living room was under construction. It turned out that dogs are not allowed after all. Anne had checked the internet and learned that there was a room for guests with dogs. But that room was in a shed, full of equipment and not habitable. OK, so we had a dog which is allergy friendly, and we had a living room full of dust from the construction work. Moreover, we were the only ones there, so what could be the harm…
Anne had prepared a surprise – steak dinner! A steak is not something you find in a self-served DNT cabin. And as I had brought a bottle of wine, this was turning into a very memorable Friday afternoon. OK, I had brought two … plastic wine bottles, in case there would a snowstorm the next day, and we would be stuck here for … days. The weather forecast that promised superb weather COULD be wrong. Better safe than sorry…
LITLEBOTTSEGGA & GRØNLIFJELLET, APR 29
Saturday morning did not bring the sunshine we had hoped for. Spotting wolverine tracks gets significantly harder without sunshine. We decided to ski to Litlebottsegga and hope that the weather conditions would improve. Anne had been talking to a colleague on her satellite phone and apparently, the weather should improve.
From the cabin, we skied straight up the ridge. The snow was hard enough to carry Karma, and she was happy to be outdoors again.
Between 1200 and 1300 meters, there was a slope that was just steep enough to cause problems if the snow had been harder.
1h:25m and 600 vertical meters after leaving the cabin, we arrived on top of Litlebottsegga. Very, very nice to be up here! And by the looks of it, no wolverine had been up here lately.
We decided to move on towards Grønlifjellet – the next top on this ridge – to the southwest. It looked very distinct due to the snowy ridge. Perhaps a bit too distinct? Would we be able to get up there? Only way to find out is to go and see…
With the current snow conditions, the ascent up the ridge was easy. A bit steep, but easy. 1:56pm, we could celebrate another new top. No W-tracks here either…
It was tempting to continue along the ridge and return via the Langevatna lakes, but we ended up returning the same way we came.
The descent didn’t get really enjoyable until we passed Trollebottsegga. Above, the snow was too hard or of varying quality.
We returned to the cabin and had a long afternoon and evening ahead of us. No cellular coverage, no distractions. Just relaxation. The good life. The evening dinner was from the cabin’s assortment, but the wine was not 😉
Pictures from the trip to Longevasshytta (Apr 28):
Pictures from the Litlebottsegga – Grønlifjellet trip (Apr 29):