A memorable hike around Joldalen
A hike across Joldalshornet, Kvitfannegga, Matøskja and Eggene is something I’ve been thinking about for a number of years. The main reason why I still hadn’t given it a go was because I thought that ascending Joldalshornet with a dog could be somewhat difficult. From a distance, the route from Joldalen and up to Joldalshornet’s north ridge looked very steep. But the only way to find out was to go there.
Which I did on Aug 3 2017. To raise the challenge, I chose to do this as an after-work hike. I took the westernmost road at Høydalen (there are two roads leading into Høydalsdalen), drove up to Øvsteberget and continued on the forest road up to Lauvhaugsætra. Parking at approx. 420m. The time was 3:50pm when Karma and I headed out.
The first task was to get into Joldalen. I followed the path up to Lauvhaugsætra, then headed south along a path that took me past Heiddalsstøylen and a couple of small lakes before the route descended into Joldalen. The route from the parking to Joldalen was 2,8km. Enough time to build up some excitement and adrenaline on what was ahead.
Overlooking Joldalen, I aimed for the ruins of an old building and planned to make my final decision on the ascent route there.
It was tempting to follow a distinct grassy slope upwards, but I didn’t like the terrain above it. So, I decided to try my luck further to the left. Some distinct ledges caught my attention and I had good hopes that this route would lead us safely up.
It turned up to be the perfect ascent route. I didn’t even have to worry about the dog, politely following directly behind me. Once I was on the north ridge, I was actually somewhat disappointed about the route not being more challenging.
But I soon got over the disappointment and started ascending the north ridge. To my surprose, there were two peaks up there, and I had to visit both of course. The westernmost was clearly the highest, both visually and according to the GPS.
The time was now 5:30pm, and I stood on top of Joldalshornet – #1 out of 4. I was really geared up and looked forward to the rest.
Next followed an easy 90 vertical meter descent down to the pass between Joldalshornet and Kvitfannegga. The route to Kvitfannegga looked quite easy.
The time was 5:52pm when I passed point 1091m on Kvitfannegga. Matøskja was 1,8km to the southwest, but the hiking route would be longer.
The fun thing about Kvitfannegga is the “white” rock, hence the name “Kvit” (as in “white”). Very, very characteristic.
I aimed for Matøskja‘s east ridge. From a distance, it didn’t look too steep and difficult.
It was only the very top of the east ridge that forced me into route finding, but only because I wanted to avoid hard snow. After a successful ascent, we reached the top of Matøskja 6:40pm. I had been up here once before, back in 2003 on a ski-ascent with my friends Petter, Åsmund and Arngeir – who sadly passed away in 2016.
We continued towards Eggene and little by little I grew a bit tired of all the rock. But it was still easy to hike and Karma’s paws seemed to tackle the terrain well. The time was 7:11pm when we reached the top of Eggene.
What a wonderful hike it had been so far. But now I looked forward to the descent. It was getting late in the day, and I still had more hiking to do, and then an hour of driving back home.
My plan was to hike down to Storreisfjellet, completing a proper tour-de-Joldalen, but I suddenly changed my plan and aimed for the ridge between Grøndalsvatnet and Tverrbotnene instead. I knew there was a path there, and I could get away from the rocky terrain. Perhaps it was the snow field that tempted me the most…
I had seen a lot of grouse, or perhaps Ptarmigan is the more correct word, on my hikes this autumn. And this hike was no exception..
At the northwest end of Grøndalsvatnet, I realized that I had missed the path towards Øvsteberget, and decided to go off-trail directly towards Lauvhaugsætra instead. The terrain was occasionally steep, but I managed to find a good route down.
The time was 8:13pm when we returned to the car. The hike was 13,5km and 1400 vertical meters in total and took roughly 4,5 hours.
On the way back home, I felt overjoyed about finally having done this route. It IS a beauty, despite the rocky terrain…
Pictures from the trip: