Prestholtskarvet & Vedalshøgde
After checking out from Tunhovd Camping, we decided to hang around in the Geilo region for a couple more days, and made a reservation for two days at Hakkesetstølen – just south of Geilo.
Anne wanted to spend the day shopping in Geilo. After almost two weeks on the road with a crazy peakbagger, it was a fair request. Me, on the other hand, would grab the opportunity and visit Prestholtskarvet on Hallingskarvet. It was high time I visited this popular top.
After dropping off Anne, I drove 1km to the east of the centre of Geilo and turned left onto Havsdalsvegen, which turned into Prestholtvegen (toll road) and took me to Prestholtseter – a 11km drive from RV7.
The weather was gorgeous – quite opposite to the forecast, and with Prestholtseter located at 1240m, I was looking at an easy 600m ascent to 1859m. I assumed I would be back in Geilo before Anne had made her first purchase.
Karma and I headed out 12:43pm and we followed the well worn trail up the mountain. The steps built by Sherpas were quite impressive, and couldn’t be seen from a distance.
At 1:22pm, I thought we had reached the top, but something felt wrong. 600 vertical meters in less than 40 minutes, without running? After checking the map on my cell phone, I realized we were on Skarvsenden, at mere 1690m. Prestholtskarvet was 2,3km to the west!
The Skarvsenden high point (1704m) was 0,3km to the northwest, but I had no interest in that and sat the course straight west towards Prestholtskarvet.
Passing 1800m, the fog came and we didn’t see much for a while.
But as we reached the VAST summit plateau, the fog disappeared and I could see the summit cairn, half a kilometer ahead of me. The terrain was all rock, but easy to hike on. We reached the summit 2:05pm.
Hallingskarvet is a huge plateau. I had previously been to Kyrkjedørsnuten (1790m) – 22km to the northwest. In between is Folarskardnuten (1933m) and the highest point in Buskerud county. I had a faint hope of standing on that top the very next day, preferably together with Anne. Time would show…
Karma and I didn’t stay long on Prestholtskarvet. I wanted to get down before the weather forecast (rain) would come true. I took a more direct course towards our ascent route and had to slide (on my feet) down a snow field before I got back on the trail. I grabbed two sharp rocks in case I wasn’t able to stop in time, but the snow was soft enough to break naturally. There was a group of people who also found the joy in sliding down the snow, with worse boots and probably less experience. I advised them to exercise caution. I’ve not only seen people slam into rocks before, I’ve been there myself…
After a quick descent, we reached the road just west of Prestholtseter when the rain sat in. And it didn’t just rain – it poured! But with only 0,3km to the car, I managed to stay fairly dry.
The time was now 3:03pm, and I called Anne to check how she was doing. She was doing just fine, and had bought skis (a typical purchase in July.. (not!)) and said I could do more mountain stuff if I felt like it.
I had actually noticed that there was this top – Vedalshøgde – located not too far away. Actually, it was kind of a “bonus top” and it would be a sin to walk away from it. So we agreed that I could do that hike before returning to Geilo.
I drove a bit further east and turned left onto Budalsvegen (toll road). After 6,8km I parked on top of the road between Vedalsvatnet and Budalsvatnet. As the top of Vedalshøgde was only 1,2km away, this would be a “bonus top” for sure.
I didn’t spend time looking for a path. Just wanted to bag one more top and call it a day. We left the car 3:50pm and arrived on the top at 4:09pm. The view towards Hallingskarvet was great. I knew that I just been up there, but still it felt a bit strange, now that I was *here* – 10,5km to the east/northeast.
After a round of pictures, we headed back along a parallel course and found the path – which I missed by 5 meters upon heading out…
Back in Geilo, I picked up Anne and drove to Hakkesetstølen. The first impression was good. Good looking place, nice surroundings. But while checking in we ran into a genuine Norwegian drunk asshole. We hoped and prayed we would not run into him again during our stay.
The room was OK, except for that every single movement in any of the rooms in the hallway would send vibrations through the woodwork. In the room above us, there was a man with a serious bladder issue, judging from the walks to and from the bathroom until the very morning. I didn’t sleep well.
The food: home made, in the OK to good range but served by a young German girl who was either the shyest person I’ve ever met, or totally ignorant about working in a restaurant. When we asked what she was serving (we had ordered a 3-meal course), she had no idea and had to ask the cook (which was also the owner – we enjoyed talking to her!). This was like a million miles away from the Kalhovd tourist hut where the owners introduced the dinner of the day like they were performing on a stage.
But there were upsides. We liked the place, and we had a room for two nights – which was not easy to get in the summer season. Rabbits ran around the outside, keeping Karma on constant alert.
The plan for the day after was to visit Folarskardnuten – the highest peak in Buskerud county. Would the weather be on our side, and – would Anne come along?
Pictures from the Prestholtskarvet hike:
Pictures from the Vedalshøgde hike:
Pictures from Hakkesetstølen: